Today AMD unveiled its 7th generation A-series desktop APUs. The new chips are full-fledged SoCs, built for new AM4 socket. The 7th gen A-series APUs are based on the “Bristol Ridge” silicon, and are the first fully-integrated SoCs (systems-on-chip) from AMD, with integrates southbridge.
The platform includes PCI-Express root-complex, USB 3.0, and storage interfaces such as SATA 6 Gb/s emerging directly from the AM4 motherboard. AMD has initially launched two chipsets, the A320 for the entry-level segment, and the B350 for mainstream desktops. AMD also plans to launch more high-end chipset at a later date (maybe alongside ZEN “Summit Ridge” CPUs).
The 7th generation “Bristol Ridge” A-series desktop APUs aren’t a launch platform for ZEN. These chips feature up to four CPU cores based on the “Excavator” architecture, AMD’s final implementation of the modular CPU architecture it introduced with “Bulldozer,” way back in 2011. These cores are mated with an integrated GPU based on the Graphics CoreNext 1.2 architecture. You get up to 8 GCN compute units, working out with up to 512 stream processors.
AMD is launching eight SKUs in this series, which include six quad-core, two dual-core. The quad-core version with 8 GCN compute under the A12-9800 series; quad-core parts with 6 GCN compute units as A10-9700 series and quad-core with 6 GCN CUs and lower iGPU clock bands as A8-9600 series. The dual-core parts with 6 or 4 GCN CUs are slotted in the A6-9500 series. Parts with quad-core CPU but completely lacking in integrated graphics, are slotted in the Athlon X4 series.