SAN JOSE, Calif. Advanced Micro Devices will roll out at the Embedded Systems Conference embedded versions of PC chip sets, graphics and as many as seven x86 processors, including AMD's first embedded chips to support DDR3 memory and the HyperTransport 3 interconnect.
The new embedded CPUs range from an 8W single-core Athlon II CPU running at 1 GHz to 45and 65W dual- and quad-core Phenom and Athlon II processors running at data rates from 2.2 to 2.8 GHz. Also in the mix is a chip set supporting the 5 GHz version of PCI Express and a Radeon graphics chip supporting up to four 1080-pixel progressive resolution displays.
"It's a significantly higher performance level than last year's product set," said Buddy Broeker, director of AMD's Embedded Solutions group created in 2007.
The chips are offered in versions with BGA and flip-chip BGA packaging. AMD provides guarantees of five to seven years longevity for its embedded parts.
"Historically what's kept the x86 architecture from being bigger in embedded systems is power, area and cost," said Broeker. "These products deal with the first two issues," he added.
In 2011, AMD will release its first Fusion chips that merge graphics and x86 cores on a single die. Embedded versions of the Fusion chips should roll within three months of the PC versions and help lower costs of using x86 chips in embedded systems, he said.
"The upper end of the telecom and networking markets are moving pretty rapidly to x86 due to their performance requirements where they want 64-bit processors," said Broeker. "New markets are emerging for us in areas such as digital signage and casino and arcade games," he added.
In the past several years, AMD has sold off a variety of non-x86 processors including MIPS-based chips and set-top box and mobile processors to focus on its x86 business. AMD's archrival, Intel Corp. also supplies versions of its PC chips for embedded systems. In addition, the company has been gearing up an SoC program for more than two years, aimed at a wide range of embedded designs including digital TVs and networking systems.