APUs for workstations launching

SIGGRAPH 2012: Filling the low-end, and promoting platformance

AMD FirePro Logo So AMD is launching their FirePro 2012 offering from top to middle, where is the low-end? Before we move on, here is a refresher.

So AMD has recently launched such APUs, and positioned them to cater the entry-level workstation for CAD, media and entertainment workflows to build powerful integrated desktop and desk-side configurations.

AMD A300 Series APU chip

AMD FirePro A300 Series APU

Here is the list of specifications for those who are obsessed with specs and more specs:
FirePro A300 Series APUs

  • Trinity GL APU
    • 4 Piledriver CPU Cores
    • AMD TurboCore 3.0 Technology for up to 2 cores
    • 4 MB L2 Cache
    • 384 Radeon Cores (VLIW4 architecture), 24 TMU, 8 ROP
    • Dual-channel DDR3-1866 (128-bit)
  • AMD HD3D Pro Technology, Stereo 3D Support
  • 10-bit display capabilities
  • AMD Eyefinity Technology (up to 4 monitors)
  • Display Connectivity
    • DisplayPort 1.2 (Maximum resolution 4096×2160)
    • Single-link or Dual-link DVI
    • Single-channel or Dual-channel LVDS3
    • Single-link HDMI 1.4a (Maximum resolution 1920×1080)
  • 1/4th double-precision rate
  • UVD 3.2, VCE 1.0, SAMU 1.0, IOMMU v2
  • API Support
    • DirectX 11/Direct3D 11, DirectCompute, C++ AMP
    • OpenGL 4.2, OpenCL 1.1
    • Socket FM2 infrastructure
  • AMD FirePro A320 APU
    • CPU frequency: 3.8 GHz (Base), 4.2 GHz (TurboCore)
    • GPU frequency: 800 MHz
    • Floating-point performance (single/double-precision): 736 GFLOPS/184 GFLOPS
    • Unlocked APU
    • 100W TDP
    • Desktop equivalent: AMD A10-5800K
  • AMD FirePro A300 APU
    • CPU frequency: 3.4 GHz (Base), 4.0 GHz (TurboCore)
    • GPU frequency: 760 MHz
    • Floating-point performance: 693 GFLOPS/173 GFLOPS
    • 65W TDP
    • Desktop equivalent: AMD A10-5700

As a side note, from this CLBenchmark results page, it seems that AMD was having some identity issues with this particular APU product line as the interim product branding being the AMD A-series APU, “AMD A10-5800W APU with AMD FirePro A320 Professional Graphics”. Let’s just say this platforms branding was pretty pointless when they don’t have a corresponding platform branding for the professional graphics market, besides the unrelated, business-oriented VISION PRO branding. (Author’s note: And yes, there are APUs for that too.) So they changed that back to simply AMD FirePro A300 series APUs soon enough.

These APUs can be paired with A85X, A75 and A55 FCHs, so there’s CrossFireX capability when A85X FCH was used, while A55 limits to SATA 3.0 Gbit/s and USB 2.0 ports. From the first looks, these are quite solid offerings against the competition, the Intel HD Graphics P4000. They also have the same ISV certifications for CAD and M&E applications as the discrete add-in board FirePro members.

While this is a good time to start making this the inflection point in bringing integrated graphics solutions into the professional markets when one considers Adobe products with OpenCL support on their latest version of Mercury engine, we hope it will eventually end up in SeaMicro boxes and low-end servers, just don’t bring along the identity crisis. S|A

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Leo Yim

Author at SemiAccurate
Leo Yim is our correspondent from the far flung reaches of East Asia. Fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese and English he'd rather be talking about computers no matter what language. A true detail man he dreams of building gaming rigs from workstation class parts.