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Jul 22, 2012

AMD Jaguar-Based Kabini and Temash APUs Next Month, Not Next Year

The folks over at Hexus have provided some information that makes us glad to have been wrong about a certain estimate we made last week, regarding AMD's future APU generation.

What we said, based on the murmurs on the web at the time, was that the Jaguar-based Kabini accelerated processing unit (APU) was scheduled for release next summer. The new report moves the launch from summer to the first quarter of 2013 (January-March) and promises that the first introduction to the technology will happen much sooner than even that. Kabini is based on the Jaguar core, and so is Temash. Had they truly been slated for a summer 2013 release, the technology preview probably would not have happened before CeBIT (March) or CES (Consumer Electronics Show, January). Now that availability has been seemingly moved up to Q1, the preview has been moved as well. AMD will release the information on the low-power Jaguar core at the Hot Chips Symposium, next month (August, 2012). That makes August 28 the first day of disclosures. Hexus says AMD's Jeff Rupley will be the speaker.

So far, we know that Kabini and Temash are constructed on the 28nm manufacturing process and will aim for low-power, low-cost netbooks and tablets. Intel's Clover Trail Atoms will be their main rivals, but they use the 32nm technology and, though their processing capabilities are similar, if not maybe higher, their graphics leave much to be desired, as has always been the case. That said, Temash, as an ultra low power chip, will have just 2 cores, while Kabini, though also focused on power efficiency, will have some quad-core iterations as well. Other relevant features include more IPCs (instructions per clock), HSA (heterogeneous system architecture) enhancements and a tighter CPU/GPU merger.

The only unfortunate part about all this is that AMD doesn't have any tablet chip, besides the 40nm Hondo, ready to try and score Windows 8/RT tablet design wins when Microsoft launches the operating system, in the fourth quarter. Thus, even if it impresses manufacturers and consumers, the Sunnyvale, California-based corporation won't be able to make up for losing so many prospective buyers by not being there for the initial rush. Not the best outcome after the poor financial showing.
Note: There seems to be some confusion over the name of the ULP APU. One roadmap slide calls it Temash, while previous ones listed it as Tamesh. It is fortunate that we only have one more month to wait before this confusion is dispelled.

AMD Roadmap slide listing "Tamesh"
Image credits to X-bit labs

AMD Roadmap slide listing "Tamesh"
Image credits to Liliputing


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