AMD Beema and Mullins: More Horsepower, Less Juice, but Is it Enough?

By Mario Aguilar on at

Since Intel ramped up its chipsets with integrated graphics a few years ago, AMD has been losing a lot of ground on laptops and tablets—in the public mind, at least. The company just announced the rest of its product roadmap for next year. It features some significant power, and significantly, efficiency improvements—but will it be enough?

Over the summer, we got our first look at Richland, AMD's top laptop APU—An Advanced Processing Unit, AMD's name for a microprocessor that acts as both a CPU and graphics processor. Beema and Mullins round out the lineup's low-power options for cheaper laptops and tablets

Beema replaces last year's Kabini SoC and is designed primarily for small notebooks and two-in-one laptop/tablet hybrids. Mullins replaces on the Temash on the very lowest end of the spectrum. It's designed for fanless tablets, laptops and convertibles. Both feature new "Puma" cores in either dual- or quad-core configurations


Better Performance, Less Power, More Security

The key spec that AMD is touting about its new SoCs is twice the performance per watt compared to the previous generation. According to the company you'll be getting not just power reduction but a performance improvement. The new chips are the first to feature a new AMD Security Coprocessor, which is an implementation of ARM's TrustZone technology.

We still don't have detailed specifications on Beema and Mullins, so it's hard to say how they might change the hardware they'll be implemented in. AMD says it'll be releasing bits of information leading up to CES where we can expect to see a big unveil. One thing the company was very clear about: These SoCs aren't designed for phones, so don't expect to see them in a handset anytime soon.