AMD chip families target high-growth embedded systems market

AMD's chips will target a range of industries such as aerospace, printing and medical

Advanced Micro Devices unveiled its plan on Monday to release a line of chips next year for embedded systems in products such as digital signs and Internet-enabled televisions.

The company, which reported a net loss of US$74 million for its second quarter, said the market for chips in embedded systems is projected to rapidly expand, with demand for low-power and high-performance chips.

AMD said the release will include chips using ARM and x86 architectures.

The "Hierofalcon" CPU SoC (system-on-a-chip) will be based on the ARM Cortex-A57 architecture. AMD said it is the first 64-bit ARM based platform from the company designed for data center applications, communications infrastructure and industrial solutions. Production will begin in the second half of 2014.

"Bald Eagle" is an x86-based chip that will be available as a CPU and APU (accelerated processing unit). It's designed for high performance embedded applications, such as digital signs and gaming, AMD said.

The "Steppe Eagle" APU SoC, available in the first half of next year, is aimed at low-power applications. The last family, called "Adelaar," is designed for 3D graphics, multi-display support for the Windows and Linux OSes, AMD said. Adelaar will also be released in the first half of next year.

Other industries AMD said the chips will target include medical imaging, automobile, military and aerospace, digital surveillance and printing.

Embedded systems accounted for 8.6 billion unit shipments in 2012, according to analyst IDC in a July report. Shipments are expected to rise to 11 billion units by 2017, IDC said.

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Jeremy Kirk

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