“AMD did an excellent job improving the energy efficiency of its products with its 6th and 7th generation APUs. The reduction in energy usage is truly impressive.”
–Energy Manager Today Awards judge
In 2014, AMD announced an ambitious initiative to improve the energy efficiency of its Advanced Processing Units (APUs) 25-fold by 2020. Following the announcement of that goal, the first major APU product introduced in 2015 – the AMD 6th Generation APU -achieved energy efficiency gains equal to 28 percent towards the goal. In 2016, the 7th generation APU achieved another 14 percent gain. The improvements so far have put the company solidly above the trend line needed for achieving the 25×20 goal.
The single most important step for the project was defining the ambitious goal, AMD says. The goal, obtained at the executive level including CEO approval, gave the teams a definitive target, which provided overall direction to the different functions. While microprocessor design is quite complex, AMD’s executives and engineers drove a focused and diligent effort to develop energy efficiency into next-generation products.
Cross-functional product teams, including R&D and major business units, identified areas for improvement, analyzed their feasibility, and integrated the most promising ones into AMD designs. This included the development of new processor architectures, power efficient technologies, and power management techniques. Final designs were then subjected to rigorous validation tests and additional design revisions before final production. The company continues working to meet their 25×20 goal, with new energy efficiency techniques and technologies being rolled into upcoming “Zen-based” products for PCs and servers.
When AMD reaches its goal, AMD APU-powered PCs will be able to accomplish a task in one-fifth of the time as 2014 products while consuming on average less than one-fifth the power, according to the company. “As these processors are implemented, consumers will save significant energy and greenhouse gas emissions,” one judge said.
25×20 is part of AMD’s climate goals that have been approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative as aggressive enough to mitigate the worst climate change consequences.