AMD Beema/Mullins Architecture & Performance Preview
When AMD launched its Kabini and Temash APUs last year it delivered a compelling cost/performance story, but its power story wasn’t all that impressive. Despite being built out of relatively low power components, nearly all of AMD’s entry level APUs carried 15W TDPs, with a couple weighing in at 8 – 9W and only a single 1GHz dual-core part dropping down to 3.9W. By comparison, Intel was shipping full blown Haswell Ultrabook parts at 15W – offering substantially better CPU performance, in a similar thermal envelope (although at a higher cost). The real disruption for AMD was Intel’s Bay Trail, which showed up with a similar looking micro architecture running at substantially higher clock speeds and TDPs below 8W.
AMD seemed to have all of the right pieces to build a power efficient mobile SoC, but for some reason we weren’t seeing it. Today that begins to change with the the successors to Kabini and Temash.