Exclusive: AMD will make power play to win over the laptop elite

AMD CEO Lisa Su reckons laptop makers will be itching to bake its energy-efficient 7th-generation APUs into their upcoming machines.

Rolling graphics and compute capabilities into a single solution, the APUs will feature AMD’s Zen processors that will be manufactured using the 14nm FinFET process, rather than the 28nm process AMD has used since 2011. Laptops featuring the upcoming APUs are scheduled to debut later in the year.

“We will see significant improvements made in power efficiency through the design of our 7th-generation APUs,” said Su. “FinFET affords a step function improvement in performance and performance-per-watts.

“OEMs have made good progress with their AMD systems – HP’s EliteBooks and Lenovo’s Yogas are nice machines, as are Dell’s. The portfolio will increase as each APU generation gets better.

“We’re going to have FinFET products shipping in the middle of 2016, so everything is on schedule for that. You’ll learn more about Zen’s progress this year, which is when we’ll show the world what AMD is capable of.”

Generation game

AMD’s 6th-generation Carrizo APUs currently feature in HP’s Envy 15 and EliteBook laptops, in addition to models in Dell’s Inspiron, Lenovo’s Yoga 500 and Toshiba’s Satellite products.

In addition to featuring Zen processors, AMD’s 7th-generation APUs are set to debut with its new AM4 socket, which aligns the company’s CPU and APU families under one socket while adding support for DDR4 and USB-C.

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