Kicking off today is AMD’s annual developer conference, which now goes by the name APU13. There will be several APU/CPU related announcements coming out of the show this week, but we’ll start with what’s likely to be the most interesting for our regular readers: the launch date for AMD’s Kaveri APU.

First and foremost, AMD has confirmed that Kaveri will be shipping in Q4’13, with a launch/availability date of January 14th, 2014. For those of you keeping track of your calendars, this is the week after CES 2014, with AMD promising further details on the Kaveri launch for CES.

Second of all, we have confirmation on what the highest shipping APU configuration will be. Kaveri will have up to 4 CPU core (2 modules), which will be based on AMD’s latest revision of their desktop CPU architecture, Steamroller. Meanwhile the GPU will be composed of 8 GCN 1.1 CUs, which would put the SP count at 512 SPs (this would be equivalent to today's desktop Radeon HD 7750). Furthermore AMD is throwing around a floating point performance number – 856 GFLOPS – which thanks to some details found in AMD's footnotes by PCWorld gives us specific clockspeeds and even a product name. A10-7850K CPU clockspeed 3.7GHz, GPU clockspeed 720MHz.

Third, in a departure from how AMD launched Trinity and Richland, Kaveri will be coming to the desktop first. The January 14th date is for the availability of desktop socket FM2+ Kaveri APUs, with server and mobile APUs to follow (these are presumably some of the CES details to come). Pricing and specific SKUs will of course be announced at a later time, and there wasn’t any clarification on whether this was just for OEM hardware, or if we’ll be seeing retail CPUs too.

Finally, AMD has confirmed on the GPU side that Kaveri will be shooting for feature parity with AMD’s latest discrete GPUs, by supporting many of the same features. Specifically, TrueAudio will be making an appearance on Kaveri, bringing AMD’s dedicated audio processing block to their APUs as well as their GPUs. On the discrete GPUs this is a move that was mostly about functionality, but on Kaveri it should take on a second role due to the fact that it’s exactly the kind of CPU-constrained environment for which having dedicated hardware will be a boon. Furthermore, AMD has also confirmed that their new low-level API, Mantle, will also be supported on Kaveri – it is after all a GCN based GPU.

For AMD Kaveri is going to be a big deal; likely the biggest CPU/APU launch for the company in quite some time. Since the acquisition of ATI all the way back in 2006 this is what the company has been building up to: producing a processor with a highly integrated CPU/GPU that allows both of them to be leveraged nearly-transparently by software. Kaveri is the launch vehicle for HSA both as a specific standard and as a general concept for a PC CPU/APU, so it’s something that everyone inside and outside of AMD will be watching closely.

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  • inf64 - Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - link

    FX4300? 7850K based on SR core will just walk over that poor FX in CPU benchmarks :) Reply
  • dylan522p - Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - link

    Not really 10%-20% improvement tops. Regression in clock speed makes SR lose some of its advanrage. Reply
  • A5 - Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - link

    This APU has 33% less CUs than the XBone APU. It would be noticeably slower at most games.

    Next year's version, though...
    Reply
  • andrewaggb - Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - link

    I don't think it'll give xb-one like gpu performance without the embedded dram. Personally I think they should added that, or added triple or quad channel ddr3.

    That would probably give XB-One levels of performance, + mantle. Would be pretty cool for a cheap box.
    Reply
  • aryonoco - Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - link

    I hope AMD starts paying attention to their Linux drivers, in which case this could be a very good platform for a Steam Machine.

    If it is good, I might build a Kaveri-based Steam box next year, hopefully XBMC is up and running on SteamOS quickly, and if they can get the likes of Netflix to sign up as well, this would be my dream living room PC.
    Reply
  • coder111 - Friday, November 15, 2013 - link

    Not sure if it's AMD (it employs several developers), or just pure volounteer effort, or other organizations like RedHat, but open-source AMD drivers are getting seriously good. They lag behind by a couple of OpenGL versions and it takes several releases until latest GPU is supported, but Open Source Radeon drivers are probably best open source drivers out there except for Intel. Reply
  • Arnulf - Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - link

    Because this one APU that has been revealed runs at lower frequency (on GPU side) than initially planned. This doesn't mean that the top model will be limited to only 720 MHz (after all discrete desktop GCN models with identical/comparable unit count are closer to 900-1000 MHz with very reasonable TDP).

    Everybody keeps assuming that just because some article says this chip is top of the line Kaveri, this is actually the case. AMD came up with A8-3870 to follow up on 3850 in Llano generation and with faster ships in Trinity/Richland generation. It is reasonable to expect Kaveri chips that actually meet the 900 MHz projection which would put its GPU performance right at the 1000+ GFlops mark.
    Reply
  • dylan522p - Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - link

    Not really. Those new versions were just slight tweaks woth binning and clock speed bumps. AMD simply could not put it to 750+ MHz without the thing reaching insane TDP. Reply
  • Arnulf - Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - link

    A10-7870K Reply
  • dwade123 - Thursday, November 14, 2013 - link

    People rather buy an Intel laptop with a discrete GPU than this crippled crap. Reply

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