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Get ready for great games on a thin laptop as AMD preps new mobile graphics chips

Advanced Micro Devices said today that it plans to launch new Radeon mobile graphics chips in January.

AMD says the new chips will fit well with trends developing in 2013, such as the launch of “ultrathin” notebooks and new machines with Microsoft’s graphics-intensive Windows 8 operating system. The chips are going to be integrated into notebooks that are hybrids, which can be converted into laptops or tablets.

“We brought up our game over the past year,” Jay Marsden, the product marketing manger for AMD’s notebook graphics, said in a press call. “We are introducing our next generation of mobile GPUs [graphics processing units].”

AMD calls the new generation the AMD Radeon HD 8000 series of graphics chips. This is the second generation of chips to use the company’s AMD Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture, and it is aimed at bringing great gaming to thin laptops.

The chips have full DirectX 11 support and are built with 28-nanometer manufacturing. Marsden said that the new chips are more energy efficient than past chips in terms of power consumed and performance. The chips have AMD’s Enduro technology, which powers down the chip when it is idle. It also has acceleration for better videos, image compression, and image enhancement.

The new products include the AMD Radeon HD 8500M and 8600M chips. Both have 384 cores known as stream processors. The 8500M operates at 650 megahertz while the 8600M operates at 775 megahertz. With double-precision floating-point math calculations, the chips operate at 33 gigaflops and 39 gigaflops, respectively.

AMD will also launch the AMD Radeon HD 8700M series product, with 384 stream processors and clock speeds ranging from 620 megahertz to 850 megahertz, with gigaflop performance coming in at 33 to 43. The company is also launching its HD 8800M series, with 640 stream processors and clock speeds ranging from 650 megahertz to 700 megahertz. That chip operates at 62 gigaflops.

The company said the chips replace the previous generation of 7000 series graphics products. The new chips will be available Jan. 7. More details will be available at that time. Laptops using the chips will also be announced later, although the ASUS U38 laptop uses the chip and has already been announced.


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