AMD Claim Success In 25x20 Mobile APU Efficiency Challenge

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅25.06.2020 22:59:51

AMD's 25x20 Challenge required breakneck APU development over their Steamroller-era chips

In 2014 AMD stated a bold aim for the start of the next decade: to improve the perf/watt power efficiency of their mobile APU range by a huge 25x. The self-imposed goal would be known as their 25x20 Challenge, a benchmark of progression from their Kaveri APU architecture 'FX-7600P' processor to the latest Zen 2-based Ryzen APUs, with the intention of matching or beating Koomey's Law trends in mobile computing. Now, in comparisons between the FX-7600P and Ryzen 7 4800H, they're claiming success... and by no small margin.

AMD's 2014 processor of reference was the FX-7600P, which utilised the Steamroller-based Kaveri mobile APU architecture with GCN-class graphics. The chip was built with a 28nm fabrication process, a process that even at the time was decidedly dated, and high clock speeds of 3.6GHz necessitated relatively high power draw for a mobile chip, even a flagship. At the time Kaveri was a substantial improvement over the previous generation, but at that point the general impression was one of playing catch-up to their competitor. Times have certainly changed.

Successive APU generations have kept AMD close to the target, through Carrizo, Bristol Ridge and Zen, but it looked like they may have just missed their mark in 2019. 2020 however brought two critical advancements: 7nm fabrication, and the Zen 2 microarchitecture, both of which have been critical in pushing at performance while clamping down on excessive power draw.

The final series of metrics that compared the quad-core (dual Steamroller moduled) FX-7600P to the eight-core Ryzen 7 4800H aggregated the time taken for both 3Dmark 2011 P-Score and Cinebench r15 nT tests alongside energy consumption measurements. The total time taken was reduced by 80% against the baseline, while energy usage dropped by a whopping 84%. That represents a perf/watt improvement of 31.25x by 2020, even better than the 25x goal.

While the suitability of the aggregated tests may be up for debate long into the night, AMD have clearly come a long way in their six years of toil. They're now putting their main competitor under pressure in the mobile market, something that few would have bet on just a few years ago, and spelled out an achievable roadmap for advancements well into this decade. APUs with RDNA Graphics, Zen 3 architecture and 5nm manufacturing processes are still in the works, and we finally have a real horse race in laptops and low-power mobile environments. Long may that continue.

SOURCE: Via Press Release

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