AMD Announces its 7th Generation of A-Series APUs

Coming at Computex in June

AMD Bristol Ridge Die Shot

Today AMD announced that the mobile version of its latest APU codenamed Bristol Ridge will be launching at Computex in early June. Bristol Ridge is an HSA compatible APU with four Excavator x86 CPU cores, 512 GCN GPU cores, an integrated Southbridge, and DDR4 memory controller. As a whole Bristol Ridge is very similar to AMD’s prior mobile APU Carrizo which has very similar technical specifications but lacks DDR4 support, process tweaks, and the updated power management scheme present in Bristol Ridge.

7th Generation AMD A-Series Processors Pre-Announce Press Deck

AMD is calling Bristol Ridge its 7th generation A-Series APU. This is interesting given chips based on AMD’s small core like Kabini and Beema are counted as separate generations in AMD’s slides and revisions like the “Richland” APU are not. Looking closer at the die shot that AMD provided of Bristol Ridge it appears to be nearly identical to Carrizo although the way the image of a single die was cropped from the whole wafer and the color scheme used are different.

Bristol Ridge AMD Mobile Bench

AMD had a variety of benchmarks present in the footnotes of this slide deck. We complied them into the table shown here. What these benchmarks show is that Bristol Ridge is a massive improvement over Kaveri and a mild improvement over Carrizo. The positive impact of DDR4 for the graphics performance of Bristol Ridge is clear. Bristol Ridge appears to offer between 5 and 12 percent better x86 performance than Carrizo. AMD hasn’t released any details on how they achieved this gain, but it’s a fair bet that this is largely from a more refined power management scheme compared to Carrizo.

7th Generation AMD A-Series Processors Pre-Announce Press Deck3

In the end we know now pretty much what we knew before this announcement. Bristol Ridge is coming in June, it supports DDR4, and is a refined version of Carrizo which was a vastly better chip than its predecessors. HP’s x360 looks like a good design win for AMD and it’s good to see that the company has so far maintained a relationship with the newly freed PC-focused half of HP. Bristol Ridge doesn’t appear to break any new ground, but hopefully AMD can convince OEMs to spring for dual channel memory in more of their laptops this time around.S|A

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Thomas Ryan is a freelance technology writer and photographer from Seattle, living in Austin. You can also find his work on SemiAccurate and PCWorld. He has a BA in Geography from the University of Washington with a minor in Urban Design and Planning and specializes in geospatial data science. If you have a hardware performance question or an interesting data set Thomas has you covered.