AMD has released information about its new Griffin mobile CPU today and its adjoining chipset, Puma. Griffin is based on a 65m SOI process, just like the current Turions, has two cores, integrated DDR2 memory controller and HyperTransport 3 support. The cache is 2MB, which corresponds to 1MB per core.
The Griffin CPU is using a new memory controller with an improved DRAM pre-fetcher and other improvements to memory efficiency. Other improvements include new power saving features, such as separate voltage planes for each core. Each core can operate at a different frequency and voltage, although this is quite normal for mobile processors in this day in age.
The new HyperTransport 3 bus adds further power saving, as it can be switched off when its not being used, even when the cores are processing data. The link width can also be dynamically scaled to further reduce the power drain.
Although there isn't too much to get excited about here as yet, it looks like AMD is out to compete with the mobile Core 2 Duo, which can only be good for the consumers at the end of the day.
Puma is AMD's codename for its next generation mobile chipset with integrated DX10 graphics. It consists of the RS780M northbridge and the SB700 southbridge. The GPU comes from the Radeon HD 2000 series and should be one of the most powerful integrated mobile GPU's to date. It can use dedicated memory, shared memory, or a combination of both.
It supports HDMI, DVI, TV-out but not D-Sub, as this has been replaced with Display Port support and this is the first GPU to offer support for this new display connector.
AMD also has a new feature called PowerXPress, which looks like an interesting solution for improved graphics performance when your notebook is plugged into the mains. PowerXPress allows for a discrete graphics card to be used in combination with the integrated GPU of the chipset, but the trick here is that the discrete graphics card only works when your laptop is powered from a wall socket. While on the move, the integrated GPU takes over and extends the battery life, as it would draw less power than a dedicated graphics solution. Clever, but I doubt a lot of notebook manufacturers will go for this combination, as it adds costs.
Puma also supports NAND flash for a Turbo Memory feature of its own, although AMD calls this HyperFlash. The advantage here over Intel's solution is that the notebook manufacturer has a free choice of what components they want to use and are not tied in with buying modules from AMD.
The SB700 add support for 14 USB 2.0 ports, six SATA, a single IDE controller, HD audio and the usual features.
AMD will also have a version of the Griffin CPU for UMPC's, but no information was announced about this CPU.
You can find a few pictures from the presentation here
Published in News
AMD's next gen mobile platform
A Griffin and a Puma