AMD has unveiled their 7th generation A-Series desktop APUs. These are full-fledged SoCs, unlike their predecessors and are built in the new AM4 socket package. This is the same socket package that AMD plans to launch their “Zen” processors in. The new 7th generation A-Series APUs are based off the “Bristol Ridge” silicon and they are the first full-integrated SoCs from the company in the performance category. So the APU completely integrates the functionality of a motherboard chipset, including the FCH or southbridge.
This means from the AM4 socket you will have a PCI-Express root-complex, USB 3.0, and storage interfaces such as SATA 6GB/s. Some AM4 motherboards could still include some type of “chipset” to add other connectivity options such as USB 3.1 ports, more SATA port, and even PCI-Express lanes. AMD will be launching two chipsets, first you have the entry-level A320, and the more mainstream B350. AMD should be launching an even more feature-rich chipset at a later date, more than likely alongside the Zen launch.
The Bristol Ridge APUs feature four CPU cores based on the “Excavator” architecture. This is AMD’s final implementation of the modular CPU architecture it introduced with Bulldozer back in 2011. These cores feature an integrated GPU based on the Graphics CoreNext 1.2 architecture. You will get up to 8 GCN compute units, which works out to 512 stream processors.
AMD is launching 8 different SKUs in this series, six of which are quad-core, and two that are dual-core. The A12-9800 series are quad-core parts with 8 GCN compute units, the A10-9700 series are quad-core parts with 6 GCN compute units, the A8-9600 series are the same as the A10-9700 series, but have lower iGPU clock bands. The A6-9500 series are dual-core parts with 4 GCN compute units and finally the Athlon X4 series are quad-core parts with no integrated graphics.