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Quick AMD Press Conference Notes: Kaveri 50% Faster

Posted on January 8, 2014

AMD's press conference was all Kaveri-land today, as presented by Senior Vice President Lisa Su, with no mention of FX at all.

amd-roadmapAMD Surround Gaming Roadmap.

AMD started with a demo of a 360-degree "holodeck-like” experience in their tent-dome, set up beside the press conference hall. None other than Star Trek Legend LeVar Burton demonstrated the technology in action. Burton’s experience as Geordie La Forge led him to comment that AMD was ‘less than 10 years’ from offering a "Holodeck" experience.

The dome used six projectors hooked to a single Kaveri APU, working to drive the full-surround orchestral demonstration with live interaction via a “conductor.” The conductor controlled the demo his hand movements, using perceptual input technology, as we spoke about here.

After the bombastic intro and the celebrity appearance, AMD’s impending Kaveri architecture was overviewed at a top-level, featuring:

  • HSA - Heterogeneous System Architecture.
  • 4 Steamroller CPU cores.
  • hUMA - “heterogeneous Uniform Memory Access”- featuring support for 12 compute cores. In Kaveri this means 4 CPU cores + 8 graphics cores.
  • CGN graphics cores with Mantle support.
  • AMD TrueAudio technology, allowing for 360-degree sound. They had a demo on-site featuring Oculus Rift and TrueAudio, together offering an immersive experience in audio-visual.
  • 856 Gigaflops as a compute engine running OpenCL, which AMD offers in opposition to NVidia's CUDA.

Lisa Su offered up some charts comparing Kaveri to Richland and Haswell, emphasizing Kaveri's superior results on many benchmarks, seen here:


AMD then went on to Firepro graphics (Hawaii) and Mantle, a key architecture for gaming on their latest GPU. 5 major gaming developers were highlighted as using Mantle – including Star Citizen by Chris Roberts & Cloud Imperium Games.

AMD then followed with a chart showing their laptop/tablet APUs - Kabini, Beema, Temash, and Mullins.

AMD Discovery Project was demonstrated with a game controller tablet attachment, not too dissimilar from what MOGA offers, which surrounded a tablet for a portable gaming experience. Certainly a handful as it is big compared to NVidia Shield.

Sax Persson from Microsoft was on stage with a gaming development product called Spark, a bridge running between XBox One and Windows 8.x. A bunch of quickly-developed games were shown, including a "Space Invaders" clone.

LeVar Burton was brought back in for the final plug and stayed after for autographs.

Overall, it was a great presentation by AMD and I came away impressed. In comparison to ASUS’ press event, at least, AMD put on a more convincing show.

- Jim "Neutron" Vincent.