AMD’s Kaveri APU Processor — What You Need to Know

AMD's Kaveri
AMD’s Kaveri Processor Being Shown Off
Photo Credit: Chip Chick

AMD announced at CES the January 14 release of the first round of new processor chips, “Kaveri”. Kaveri is AMD’s most advanced APU, or CPU/GPU combo, to date. Kaveri utilizes a new technology known as HSA, heterogeneous system architecture, which effectively removes the idea of “CPU cores” and “GPU cores” and instead shares all the cores, they call this architecture “Steamroller”.

The Kaveri A-Series APUs will support up to 12 total computer cores, 8 for graphics and 4 for CPU, but HSA will allow those 12 cores to be divvied up between graphics and processing tasks based on the computers’ demand. It will take some time for programmers and applications to catch up to the Kaveri’s capabilities, but AMD is boasting 50% better GPU performance over the previous generation and 20% better x86 IPC [inter-process communication Instructions Per Clock].


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At the keynote AMD showed off benchmarks that described great improvements over their Richland processor and also Intel’s i5 Haswell processor, since it is priced similarly. Another bonus of Kaveri that AMD pointed out is that it’s using the same AMD Radeon graphics inside consoles like XBox One and Playstation 4, which will make it a lot easier for developers to port over games.

There will be two 28nm Kaveri chips released on January 14, the A10-7700K and the A10-7850K. Both will be packaged with Radeon R7 graphics. The A10-7850K is the flagship model and features a 3.7GHz processor with a max clock of 4GHz, the A10-7700K is 3.5GHz with a max clock of 3.8GHz. They’re both well priced for their power at $189 and $167, respectively.