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AMD solutions for digital gaming
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Friday 29 March 2013

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) sees the opportunity for growth in a wave of digital gaming solutions ranging from gaming machines in casinos, amusement with prize (AWP), as well as video arcades in recreational facilities, Japan's Pachinko and Pachislo segment, and video lottery terminals (VLT) worldwide.

AMD uses highly integrated, low-power consumption, and powerful parallel embedded computing solutions as well as Eyefinity multi-monitor display technologies to provide optimal solutions for emerging gaming platforms.

AMD embedded solutions drive gaming machine innovations

According to Kevin Tanguay, Senior Manager of AMD Embedded Solutions, Digital Gaming, various categories of gaming machines commonly are seen in the gaming industry:

- Casino machines; casinos often have dozens or even hundreds of gaming machines that offer Pachinko, slot, poker, baccarat, and other games
- AWP gaming machines are often found in bars, clubs, coffee shops, small gambling establishments, and are quite popular in Europe
- VLT machines connect players to the back-end network of betting agencies, and the size of prizes depend on the number of people betting
- Arcade machines with 3D graphics capabilities, surround sound, and tactile feedback control devices, often are seen in department stores or entertainment facilities
- Japan's unique Pachinko and Pachislot segment includes prize winning probabilities based on a random number generator (RNG).

AMD's Embedded APUs are equipped with AMD Dual Graphics and Eyefinity technologies. The mainstream G-Series APU is well suited for the design of VLTs. The performance grade R-Series is well suited for VLTs as well as Pachinko and Pachislot machines. The performance grade AMD Embedded R-Series equipped with multi-screen output capabilities can collaborate with independent GPU products and is well suited for VLT, Pachinko and Pachislot, casino, AWP, and arcade gaming machines. AMD's embedded solutions offer a complete and comprehensive range of APU, GPU, CPU and chipset products -- the most advanced PC technology to help drive the embedded market. AMD also offers an exclusive and stable customer support system, a five-year long-term supply guarantee, and an exciting development roadmap for new products.

Roadmap for AMD Embedded products

Regarding the scheduling for high performance APU products, supplies for the 2011 FS1 socket design standard "eLlano" APU will last for five years. The 2012 AMD R-Series APUs with Socket FS1r2 slot/pin designs include the 35W quad-core R-464L/2.3 (3.2) GHz, and R-460H / 1.9 (2.8) GHz, as well as the 35W dual-core R-272F / 2.7 (3.2) GHz and R-268D / 2.5 (3.0) GHz. R-Series APUs offer quad-core (R-4xx) or dual-core (R-2xx) configurations, provide DDR3 memory support, have a built-in DirectX 11 GPU, as well as PCIe bus controller, and support AMD Dual Graphics technology. In addition, there are also low-power consumption FP2 BGA flip-chip package versions such as the 25W quad-core R-464L/2.0 (2.8) GHz, 19W quad-core R-452L/1.6 (2.4) GHz, and 17W dual-core R-260H/2.1 (2.6) GHz and R-252F/1.9 (2.4) GHz models. These models are all equipped with A70M or A75 southbridge controller chips. In 2013, AMD will launch an FP2 (BGA) flip-chip packaging R-Series APU with upgraded clock speeds.

Taking the high-performance AMD R-Series APU as an example, it has two built-in dual-core, 2MB L2 cache cores, DirectX 11 GPU, and 3x DP/DVI/HDMI/LVDS display interface driver circuits that are connected to the AMD A70M/A75 southbridge controller chip with an X4 UMI bus. The built-in GPU specifications for the R-Series APU support H.264 HD (1080p@60fps) as well as VC and DivX decoding standards; its built-in DDR3 memory controller supports DDR3-1600. 4K by 2K resolution display output is supported, and it can connect to four external monitors for crossover displays when equipped with a HDCP, 5.4Gb/s link rate interface; and can support a total of 10 parallel display outputs when connected to an external PCIe E6460/E6760 with six DisplayPort(DP) v1.2 interfaces or MXM modules.

Compared to Intel's embedded solution, the AMD Embedded R-Series APU provides DirectX 11 hardware acceleration, four full HD screen resolution outputs, support for 4K by 2K@60Hz maximum resolutions, parallel dual graphics card technology (dual graphics), and OpenCL to provide support for fast parallel computing. When the graphics performance of AMD's 35W quad-core R-464L and R-272F, as well as Intel's 45W Core i7-2710QE, 35W Core i5-2520M, and Core i3-2310M platforms are compared using Futuremark 3DMark Vantage v1.1.0 and 3DMark 06 v1.2.0; if the measured performance value of Intel's Core i7-2710QE is standardized at 100%, then the performances of the Core i5-2520M and i3-2310M are 98% and 88%, respectively; and the performance values of AMD's R-464L and AMD R-272F can reach 210% and 142%, respectively, which is equivalent to between 1.4 and 2.1 times the graphics computing performance of the Intel Core i7/5/3-2x00 series.

The FS1r2 (PGA) package AMD APUs in conjunction with the A70M/A70 bridge chip allow for the PCB area of the entire system to range in the ballpark of only 1437mm- to 1483mm-squared.

On the product roadmap for low-power embedded G-series processors: in 2011, AMD launched FT1 BGA packaged chips without built-in GPUs such as the 18W dual-core T48L/1.4GHz, 18W single-core T30L/1.4GHz, and 5W single-core T24L/1GHz; mid-range single-core with built-in GPU products such as the 18W T52R/1.5GHz, 9W T44R/1.2GHz, and 5.5W T40R/1GHz; as well as the high-end dual-core G-Series with GPU models such as the 18W T56N /1.65GHz, 18W T48N/1.4GHz, 9W T40N/1GHz, and 6.4W T40E/1GHz. In 2012, AMD fully moved towards single-/dual-core built-in GPU solutions such as the 18W dual-core T56E/1.65GHz, 18W dual-core T48E/1.4GHz, and single-core 4.5W T16R/615MHz models.

Roadmap for AMD Embedded GPU products

For discrete embedded GPU products: in 2008, AMD launched the ATI Radeon E2400 embedded GPU consuming less than 20W of power, with 128MB of GDDR3, DirectX 10/OpenGL 2.0/UVD hardware acceleration, and support for RGB/DVI/HDMI/LVDS display interfaces. In 2009, AMD launched the ATI Radeon E4690 GPU consuming less than 30W of power, with 512MB of GDDR3, DirectX 10/OpenGL 2.0/UVD hardware acceleration, and support for RGB/DVI/HDMI/LVDS/DP v1.1 interfaces. In 2011, AMD launched the 20W AMD Radeon E6460 GPU with 512MB of GDDR5, DirectX 11/OpenGL 4.1/UVD3 hardware acceleration, and support for RGB/DVI/HDMI/LVDS/DP v1.1a/1.2 interfaces; as well as the 30W AMD Radeon E6760 GPU with 1GB of GDDR5, DirectX 11/OpenGL 4.1/UVD3 hardware acceleration, AMD Eyefinity technology (capable of six screen outputs), and support for RGB/DVI/HDMI/LVDS/DP v1.1a /1.2 display interfaces.

For embedded GPU MXM modules, in 2008, AMD launched the ATI Radeon E2400 MXM 2.1a Type II module consuming less than 25W of power. In 2009, AMD launched the ATI Radeon E4690 MXM 3.0 Type A module consuming less than 35W of power. In 2011, AMD launched the AMD Radeon E6460 MXM 3.0 Type A module consuming 35W of power as well as the ultra-high performance AMD Radeon E6460 MXM 3.0 Type B module consuming less than 110W of power, and backed by a three-year supply period. In 2012, AMD launched ultra-high performance AMD Radeon HD 7970M MXM 3.0 Type B modules. The ATI Radeon E2400 MXM module will officially reach EOL in July of 2013 after its five-year supply period.

Regarding AMD's embedded PCle add-in card range: for the less than 25W power consumption mainstream segment, AMD launched ATI Radeon E2400 PCIe add-in cards with dual DVI-I and a passive heat-sink design in 2010, , as well as AMD Radeon E6460 PCIe add-in cards with dual-DVI or quad-mDP, and quad-DVI with heat-pipe designs in 2011. For the less than 35W power consumption segment, AMD launched ATI Radeon E4690 PCIe add-in cards with dual-link DVI-I connectors and cooling fan or heat-pipe designs in 2009, as well as AMD Radeon E6760 PCIe add-in cards with dual-DVI and six mDP or six DVI connectors with heat-sink or heat-pipe designs in 2011. For the ultra-high performance (<110W) market, AMD launched the AMD Radeon HD 5770 and AMD Radeon HD 6850 PCIe add-in cards, as well as the AMD Radeon HD 7850M in 2012 with a three-year product supply guarantee.

Specification differences between the AMD Radeon E6460 and E6760 are that the former has a package size of 33mm by 33mm with 20W power consumption, 160 shaders, and 64-bit 25.6GB/s bandwidth 512MB GDDR5; and the latter is a 37.5mm by 37.5mm multi-chip-module (MCM) with 35W power consumption, 480 shaders; and 128-bit 51.2GB/s bandwidth 1GB GDDR5. In 3DMark Vantage graphics performance benchmarks, the AMD Radeon E6460 scores 2195 and supports four-screen outputs, and AMD Radeon E6760 scores 5870 and supports six-screen outputs. Both the AMD Radeon E6460 and E6760 have MXM 3.0 Type A module and PCIe add-in card versions.

APU acceleration technology activated by external GPU Dual Graphics processing

Tanguay said because AMD APUs are equipped with AMD Dual Graphics technology, as long as they work in conjunction with the AMD GPU add-in cards or modules, parallel computing between the APU's built-in GPU and the add-in cards can be activated. Test results indicate that the T56N APU with an E6460 GPU module/add-in card can enhance performance by 77%, R-Series APUs with an E6460 GPU module/add-in card can see performance enhanced by 40%, and the T56N APU with an E6760 GPU module/add-in card can achieve performance gains of 16%.

Regarding the low-power consumption G-Series APUs; if the T40E has a performance benchmark of 1.0, then the relative performance of the T48E is 1.1, the T52R 1.33, T56N 1.67, and the T56N with an E6460 GPU can be enhanced to 2.4. As for embedded GPU modules; if the previous generation E2400 GPU has a performance benchmark of 1.0, then the E6460 GPU can reach 1.94, the previous generation E4690 can reach 2.88, and the E6760 can reach 3.94.

Tanguay summarized that with its innovative silicon technology, AMD is able to build an ecosystem for its customers. AMD provides a complete series of APU and GPU chips with functionality, flexibility, and energy efficiency for gaming manufacturers. AMD's digital gaming solutions can take advantage of real-time 3D graphics technology to provide HD and multimedia video, and realize the ultimate in gaming and entertainment. At present, more than 120 platform solution providers as well as motherboard and peripheral suppliers worldwide have chosen AMD's embedded products to assist the gaming industry in developing lower TCO gaming machines. AMD's embedded chip business group can provide long-term and stable product supplies, strengthening the businesses of gaming manufacturers, and making it a trusted partner for the gaming industry.

Kevin Tanguay, Senior Manager of AMD Embedded Solutions, Digital Gaming

Kevin Tanguay, Senior Manager of AMD Embedded Solutions, Digital Gaming

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