Claire Reilly was a video host, journalist and producer covering all things space, futurism, science and culture. Whether she's covering breaking news, explaining complex science topics or exploring the weirder sides of tech culture, Claire gets to the heart of why technology matters to everyone. She's been a regular commentator on broadcast news, and in her spare time, she's a cabaret enthusiast, Simpsons aficionado and closet country music lover. She originally hails from Sydney but now calls San Francisco home.
ExpertiseSpace, Futurism, Science and Sci-Tech, Robotics, Tech CultureCredentials
Webby Award Winner (Best Video Host, 2021), Webby Nominee (Podcasts, 2021), Gold Telly (Documentary Series, 2021), Silver Telly (Video Writing, 2021), W3 Award (Best Host, 2020), Australian IT Journalism Awards (Best Journalist, Best News Journalist 2017)
What do you really need from a computer processor? AMD is thinking you want to "work faster, play longer" with its newest range of processors.
AMD has launched its 7th Generation A-Series APUs at Computex in Taiwan, claiming that it's gaining ground on rival Intel, and that this year it is delivering a lot more power at lower price points.
For those out of the loop, 'APU' is AMD's name for its processors, starting five years ago. These 'Advanced Processor Units' aim to combine genuine graphics processing right alongside the traditional CPU to deliver best possible performance on a single chip.
AMD is particularly pleased with its lower-end chip improvements (its A9, A6 and E2 series), delivering a 52% improvement in CPU performance over the past generation. This is thanks to introducing its higher-end CPU designs into the lower-end models this time around.
According to AMD, its previous generation of processors offered certain performance levels at a lower price, while this year they will offer a lot more performance at the same price.
At the higher end of the range (FX, A12 and A10 series) there's plenty of improvement too and some genuine competition for Intel. AMD says they're delivering 56% higher CPU performance since 2014, and on graphics performance claiming 53% better performance than Intel's current Core i7 line.
One of the big claims for this generation of processors is its efficiency when watching videos. AMD's Kevin Lensing, Corporate Vice President and General Manager, Client Business Unit, said the new processors see up to a 41% reduction in energy use during local 1080p video playback over the previous generation. Compared to a three year old system, that improvement is a massive one-third of the power consumption.
Pointing to HD video being 70% of all internet traffic by 2019, AMD is building out deeper video playback support. The 7th Generation APUs feature hardware support for HDMI 2.0, UHD H.264, 4K H.265/HEVC, and 1080p VP9. That's essentially all the key flavours of video encoding people will bump into online, and this hardware all plays a role in reducing energy needs so battery life lasts longer while watching video.
While the wider industry is spending more time talking about processing beyond the PC, Lensing affirmed AMD's focus on the desktop and notebook market.
"We're extremely focused on the PC," says Lensing. "We're not interested in drones and we're not pushing hard on auto. We're really big on PC."