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Steppe Eagle

Performance improvement in AMD Embedded G-Series SOC


The latest processor options added to AMD Embedded G-Series SOC have the code name Steppe Eagle and offer increased computing and graphics performance. There are options specified for an industrial temperature range. The sources of improvements are among other things functionalities called configurable Thermal Design Power (cTDP) and Bidirectional Application Power Management (BAPM).

These functions dynamically control, shift and distribute performance levels (and also the overall heat generated) between the CPU and GPU as well as between separate functional blocks in the CPU. It’s done guided by the application workload. This is a way to use the resources more efficiently without increased overall heat generation. The improvement is somewhere between 15% and 20% depending on how the calculations are made.

Choosing how to realize the improvement

There is a possibility to realize the improvement in Steppe Eagle either by reducing the heat generated when keeping the performance level unchanged or to increase performance and keep the level of heat generated. It all depends on the choice of processor option. 
Yet another improvement is faster memory speed. Steppe Eagle offers up to 1866MHz compared to the memory speed of existing processor options which is a maximum of 1600MHz. This improvement among other things increases graphics performance. Steppe Eagle processors support the so-called 4K resolution making them excellent options for applications within television, set-top boxes and gaming.
The Steppe Eagle processors are pin compatible with existing Kabini options to simplify switch within AMD Embedded G-Series SOCs. However there is one difference in the interface worth mentioning when comparing Kabini and Steppe Eagle. Kabini processors offer the LVDS interface, an interface not there in Steppe Eagle. The solution when switching to one of the Steppe Eagle processors are to add an LVDS controller in addition to the processor. 

COM modules with Steppe Eagle

That’s what Hectronic has done in the modules Hectronic H6071 and H6068. Both modules are based on Steppe Eagle processors. The form factors are Qseven and COM Express respectively. The two products are more or less identical with Hectronic H6069 and H6066.
AMD has declared that the Steppe Eagle processor options added to AMD Embedded G-Series SOC will be available to the year 2023, at least.

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