AMD aims for better graphics in casinos, hospitals with new chips

AMD introduces R-series chips for embedded devices
  • Agam Shah (IDG News Service)
  • 22 May, 2012 02:52

Advanced Micro Devices aims to improve the quality of high-definition video and 3D graphics on equipment in casinos and hospitals with its new R-series processors, which the company announced on Monday.

The new chips combine central processing units with specialized graphics processors that can handle some of the most demanding games currently available. The CPU and graphics processors combine to deliver realistic video and crunch complex calculations, which could provide quick response times on medical imaging, information, entertainment and advertising applications, AMD said in a statement.

A lot more analytics capabilities are being built into digital signage and surveillance equipment, and the R-series chips could enable quick processing of relevant information, AMD said in a blog entry. For example, companies are creating algorithms to recognize whether a subject is a male or female, or child or adult, and those algorithms could be built into a large display or camera based on the R-series chips.

Embedded devices are increasingly becoming relevant in the home and enterprise as the Internet facilitates data exchange between servers and equipment. Devices like sensors and smart meters are used to gather data and connect devices, and the new AMD processors could also help serve games and graphics-intensive data from the cloud.

AMD last week announced new A-series chips for laptops code-named Trinity, and the R-series chips are a continuation in the new line of processors from the company. The R-series CPU is based on the Piledriver architecture, which is also used in Trinity chips, while the graphics processor is based on the DirectX 11-capable Radeon HD 7000 series graphics core.

The new chips are displayed to fit easily into devices, and draw between 17 watts and 35 watts of power. The company also offers the older G-series processors that draw between 5.5 and 18 watts of power.

Companies such as Advantech-Innocore and Quixant are making products based on the R-series chips for high-performance casino gaming applications. The chips are also being used by Axiomtek to make Mini-ITX motherboards, which are commonly used for customized computer equipment in fields such as robotics.

AMD's competitor in the area is Intel, which offers low-power Atom chips for embedded devices such as ATMs, and Via, which offers Nano chips to do-it-yourselfers. ARM offers low-power microcontroller and processor designs for devices such as smart meters and refrigerators. Intel also offers embedded versions of its Xeon server chips for appliances and high-end networking and telecom equipment.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is