AMD has released its Richland line of 35W mobile APUs this morning. The company says that it has been shipping the processors to PC makers since January and that devices running the new APU's are available now.
Richland is may be the new APU in town, but not much of it is different than its predecessor Trinity. The same Piledriver based CPU cores are still there as well as the Radeon HD 6900 based GPU. The new APU is even fabricated on the same 32nm process. The difference lies within more efficient transistors, which provide better power management and better utilizes the existing architecture.
Like Trinity, Richland manages power states via a 32-bit microcontroller. Both have a network of thermal sensors built-in that report back to the MCU, whereas most of these go unused in Trinity, Richland takes full advantage of the sensor network. This allows the CPU and GPU clocks to be changed based on the APU's temperature.
Richland utilizes better algorithms to more precisely tune those clocks based on temperature as well. AMD claims that these improvements allow Richland to consume 17% less power than Trinity and 38% less when playing 720p video.
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