Billed as 'the world’s first high-performance APU in a System-on-Chip design'

AMD reveals 6th gen A-Series notebook processor with FreeSync, new GPUs teased

AMD has unveiled the sixth generation A-Series processor for notebooks, plus it has teased a reveal of its new graphics cards.

AMD is really bigging this one up. It describes the new Windows 10-ready processor as ‘the world’s first high-performance Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) in a System-on-Chip (SoC) design,’ and ‘the most versatile notebook processor ever produced’.

Previously codenamed Carrizo, the processor is built for consumer and business applications, streaming, online gaming and more, promising "all day unplugged performance".

Notebooks featuring the new processor will be available from OEMs starting in June.

The notebook processor promises to deliver up to twice the battery life than before and twice the gaming performance of competing platforms. It boasts AMD Dual Graphics combining sixth gen AMD notebook processors with select AMD Radeon R7 Mobile graphics, promising to boost frame rates in games by up to 42 per cent. 

Interestingly, the processor uses AMD FreeSync technology, eliminating screen-tear and stutter. While there are AMD FreeSync desktop monitors available, notebooks with this chip will mean the user won’t have to buy an additional monitor to benefit. Comparatively, Nvidia confirmed its first G-Sync notebooks earlier this week, which uses similar tech to FreeSync.

The AMD notebook processor also has support for multi-threaded APIs including DirectX 12, Vulkan and AMD’s Mantle.

AMD also says the processor boasts the world’s first High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) hardware decode support for notebooks, the first Heterogeneous Systems Architecture (HSA) 1.0-compliant design, and the first ARM TrustZone-capable high-performance APU.

The new processor harnesses up to 12 Compute Cores – four CPU and eight GPU – leveraging AMD “Excavator” cores and the third generation of AMD’sGraphics Core Next (GCN) architecture. 

“The notebook remains the ideal, versatile, connected hub in people’s lives – the one device that does it all and does it well, and today’s consumer shouldn’t have to pay a premium to enjoy high quality streaming video, superior online gaming, and powerful content management as mainstays of today’s computing experience,” said Matt Skynner, corporate VP and general manager for products at AMD.

“That changes today with the sixth generation AMD A-Series processor, designed to deliver exceptional experiences never before seen in a mainstream notebook, truly making innovation available to everyone. Our partners have plans to introduce our sixth generation APU in many of today’s most innovative notebook platforms, demonstrating the full potential of the APU’s capabilities.”

Microsoft’s operating systems general manager Roanne Sones added: "AMD and Microsoft continue to innovate in personal computing with advancements in Windows 10 and DirectX 12 and the introduction today of AMD sixth generation A-Series processors. Consumers will enjoy the most compelling features of Windows 10, enabling a great notebook experience.”

In other AMD news, the firm’s CEO Lisa Su has shown off the latest ‘Fiji’ graphics card chip at Computex 2015 this week. She teased a bigger announcement which will take place on June 16th at the E3 video gaming convention, when the next range of AMD graphics cards featuring HBM tech (including the high-end Radeon Fury) will launch.

Check back on that date for all the news from the event.

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