The AMD Embedded G-Series platform being introduced tonight is the world's first Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) for embedded systems. AMD has had quite a bit of history of supporting x86 based embedded systems. Starting with the Geode processor in 2003 (obtained from National Semiconductors and used in the OLPC project), AMD went on to introduce AMD64 technology into the embedded markets with the AMD Opteron processors in 2005. In 2007, the addition of graphics and other chipset options by AMD enabled comprehensive embedded solutions. In 2009, AMD introduced BGA (Ball Grid Array) packaging to meet customer demand.

At CES 2011, they gave us a sneak peek into the Embedded G-Series platform based on Brazos. AMD has increased performance and features in every generation while bringing down the power, area and price barriers for x86 in the embedded market.

The embedded market space is dominated by SoCs based on RISC processors such as ARM and MIPS. For most power sensitive embedded applications, PowerPC and x86 based solutions do not make the cut. x86, in particular, has been the dark horse due to the excessive power consumption for systems based on that architecture. Process shrinks have helped lower the power consumption numbers. However, we are still a few nodes away from when the x86 based solutions can really compete with RISC based solutions on the power front.

In the meantime, solutions like what we are seeing from AMD today integrate premium graphics capabilities within power envelops similar to what x86 used to consume in the previous generation—so you get CPU+GPU instead of just a CPU. RISC based embedded solutions may still be winning on the power front; however, for applications where slightly higher power consumption is not a concern, the x86 threat from the AMD embedded G-Series platform can become a cause for concern. MIPS is usually popular in such applications (set top boxes, digital signage etc.) and they will be facing credible opposition with AMD's integrated graphics capabilities.

The AMD Embedded G-Series
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  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - link

    I believe the point is that you now get CPU + GPU within the same power envelope that used to be just the CPU. I've clarified that in the text.
  • SlyNine - Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - link

    Got it. Thanks
  • extide - Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - link

    Did anyone else come in here expecting to see benchmarks vs Atom?...
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - link

    Hint: "News" generally means "no significant benchmarks".
  • ninjaquick - Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - link

    Like +10
  • 0ldman - Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - link

    It really doesn't sound like a commercial . Sounds like the writer is excited about new technology...

    Isn't that why we're here?

    I mean if you were just reading for the business/tech aspect, get a data sheet and get back to work.
  • LTG - Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - link

    Ok, it's a news piece - but that doesn't fully mitigated the quality concerns about the article.

    The problem is that it was an unorganized and unprecise mixing of the PR and the editorial parts (fine if done well), and was disconcerting to read at a site where the bar is set very high on content.

    We don't expect things to follow some kind of exact journalistic rules (I don't even know the those rules), but as a regular reader you could just tell it felt wrong and I was already scratching my head on the first page even before reading the other comments.

    There are no hard feelings - as others have pointed out it has to be difficult to write for a site like AT especially when there is such an active community.

    I think the message to AT is simple: Ganesh seems like a smart guy with some good insights, let's just try and help him take things up a notch.
  • Onslaught2k3 - Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - link

    It would certainly be nice... but given x86 fabrication it'll be a hit or miss with power consumption. I wouldn't want to have an AMD-powered tablet PC or smartphone only run for a record 30 minutes before shutting itself off. :-D
  • nitrousoxide - Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - link

    Whenever there is an article with even minimal emotion or preference put it into it by the author, he/she will be considered as a PR, followed by warfare among fanboys from different fractions.
  • MeanBruce - Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - link

    He meant to say "factions". Don't ya just hate people from different fractions? Go AMD!, Go Intel! Go everybody!

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