AMD demonstrates 17W Trinity, GCN HD 7000M GPU
At CES 2012, AMD demonstrated notebooks running Trinity – with heavy workloads – and high-end HD 7000M graphics featuring next-gen 28nm GCN GPUs.
Assuming you have viewed the video or do not mind spoilers, AMD is actually showing off Trinity running Dirt 3 live in DirectX 11 and converting videos using Arcsoft MediaConverter on two different monitors. While impressive as it is, AMD later reveals these two monitors are actually driven by a notebook, which itself is running a video (a possible poke at Intel's botched Ivy Bridge demo). Even more impressive is that the notebook is using a ULV variant of Trinity with a TDP of only 17W. So that's three displays driven with three different workloads, off a single 17W APU. It is worth noting that while MediaConverter supports GPU acceleration, AMD opted to turn it off and run it CPU-only to better distribute load. The CPU usage is shown to be in the 60% range – so this platform has even more headroom!
One of the stories of CES 2012 has been ultrabooks with 17W Intel Core products, so it is no surprise that AMD is targeting the 17W market. Of course AMD avoids calling the demo notebook "ultrabook", instead opting for "ultra-thin". One of the primary complaints about Intel-based ultrabooks has been inflated pricing – AMD can drive these new ultra-thin form factors down to a much lower price point.
Trinity features upto 2 Piledriver modules, or 4 cores, combined with a Radeon GPU rumoured to be based on the VLIW-4 architecture. However, there is no word on whether the 17W demo'd APU is the 2 module or 1 module variant.
AMD also showed off working high-end HD 7000M GPU (in single as well as Crossfire configurations) based on Pitcairn – a true next-gen 28nm GCN architecture GPU. Likely to be branded HD 7800M or HD 7900M, these Pitcairn based mobile GPUs will form the high-end for AMD's Radeon HD 7000M family.
In addition, AMD demonstrated a new I/O solution called Lightning Bolt (curiously similarly named to Thunderbolt), which enables connecting a mobile PC up to 4 external displays, multiple USB 3 devices through a single DisplayPort 1.2 cable. MSI and Acer tablets powered by Z-01 APU were also shown running Android 4.