Advanced Micro Devices is rolling out the first standalone products for the embedded market using its latest graphics core. The products are part of AMD's corporate drive to earn half of its revenues from the embedded, dense server and semi-custom businesses by 2016, up from 20% today.
AMD is embracing ARM as well at its legacy x86 and graphics products in a drive beyond its traditional PC market, said Scott Aylor, general manager of AMD's embedded group. “We are investing heavily in this business," said Aylor. Aylor joined AMD from Freescale Semiconductor where he held leadership positions the Digital Networking Group, Wireless Access Division, and in Microcontroller Solutions Group.
Aylor noted AMD's Heterogeneous Systems Architecture initiative allows it to place graphics and x86 cores on a level playing field. “It really opens up the graphics unit to be a highly parallel processor that can be applied to non-graphics tasks,” he said.
The company is taking a systems-level focus, developing broad platforms targeting six vertical markets: digital signage, gaming, medical imaging, communications infrastructure, industrial controls, and automation and thin clients. "We have business in other places like set-top boxes and industrial PCs, but these are the vertical markets where we’re focusing because you have to pick your battles,” Aylor said
At Embedded World, AMD is launching the E8860, codenamed Adelaar, the first discrete graphics card based on its Graphics Core Next architecture. The product delivers up to 768 GFLOPS for parallel applications such as weather mapping, facial and gesture recognition, and DNA analysis.
The E8860 sports 2GBytes of GDDR5 memory offering up to 80% higher memory bandwidth than previous products. The chip includes 640 shader processors and supports OpenCL 1.2 and Direct Compute 11.1. It also supports video encode and decode, as well as DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 1.4 interfaces.
“We provide over seven years longevity on the device and support it in different form factors” and a range of prices, he said.