AMD's new processor improves battery life, brings better graphics performance to laptops

Sixth Generation APU from AMD

After a series of teases, AMD has officially taken the veils off of Carrizo, launching the anticipated notebook A8 and A10 processors as part of the Sixth Generation A-Series APU, or accelerated processing unit. In a presentation in San Francisco, California ahead of the launch, AMD said that it is targeting Carrizo to the 63 million consumers who buy a mainstream laptop every year priced between $400 (£263, AU$524) and $700 (£560, AU$917).

With the Sixth Generation A-Series APU, AMD wants your notebook to be the ideal connected, versatile hub in your digital life, noting that the integrated processing and graphics core are designed for productivity, gaming and entertainment.

AMD says that its Sixth Generation APU will be available soon in notebooks from Lenovo, Asus, Acer, Toshiba and HP. For consumers, Carrizo promises to deliver discrete-class graphics at an affordable price. AMD says that in the past, users had to upgrade to a premium laptop if they needed more GPU power – even for light or moderate gaming – but Carrizo aims to satisfy the graphics needs of mainstream notebook users.

12 computing cores

The Sixth Generation A-Series comes with four Excavator CPU cores and eight third generation GCN graphics cores that are able to fully share system resources, like memory and RAM. AMD claims that the Sixth Generation chip is the first to use the Heterogeneous Systems Architecture (HSA) 1.0 design.


This gives the processor a total of 12 computing cores, and according to AMD, this setup is capable of delivering up to two times faster gaming performance compared to rival processors and more than twice the battery life from the prior generation APU.

The chip is also the first to support High Efficiency Video Coding (HVEC) decoding for mainstream notebooks. HEVC, or H.265 file formats, videos provide for uninterrupted, smooth video playback with full CPU offload at up to 60 fps. This means that videos will be smoother and notebook batteries will last twice as long while playing video content.


The HEVC format is supported by Amazon Prime videos and natively in Windows 10.