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AMD Fusion APUs can reduce carbon footprint by up to 40% vs. previous generation products


AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced its AMD E-350 APU demonstrated a significant reduction in the overall product 'carbon footprint' as compared to a previous generation product featuring an AMD Athlon™ Neo II Dual core processor and an ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 5430 graphics processor. The environmental benefits were evidenced by a recently completed carbon footprint study that examined the production and use of the new APU, and found a reduction of up to 40 percent in total carbon emissions over the life of the APU.1

The study calculated the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, or carbon footprint, of the systems from the silicon fabrication through the use phases of the product life cycle. The findings showed that the AMD Fusion APU reference system generated 40.2kg CO2e of GHG emissions compared to 67.4kg CO2e of GHG emissions for the previous generation products - a 40.3% reduction in overall GHG emissions associated with the APU product over its estimated lifetime. While the study showed some reduction in carbon footprint at the manufacturing stage, the largest carbon benefits for the APU stem from lower energy consumption when the product is used.

The lower carbon footprint of the AMD E-350 APU, as compared to the test system, largely results from the innovative integration of the computing and graphics processors onto a single piece of silicon. This eliminates the chip-to-chip linkage between CPU and GPU that can add latency to memory operations and reduce power.

'AMD's commitment to reduce our impact on the environment spans our operations, our behaviors and the products we design,' said Nigel Dessau, Chief Marketing Officer, AMD. 'AMD Fusion APUs are a remarkable example of how a company's business interests and environmental interests can align and result in innovative products that deliver incredible experiences, value, and significant energy and cost savings for consumers and businesses alike.'

The study compared systems with the following specifications: the AMD Fusion APU system featured the AMD E-350 APU (18 watts Thermal Design Power), which is a single-chip processor that combines a dual-core CPU with a DirectX11 discrete-class graphics processing unit (GPU); while the reference system featured a dual-core AMD Athlon™ Neo II CPU and a discrete ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 5430 GPU card.

AMD Fusion Accelerated Processing Units
AMD Fusion APUs mark a significant leap forward in technology innovation to address evolving workloads and users' needs for smaller, more power-efficient form factors that enable richer visual computing experiences such as:

  • Outstanding Web browsing experiences in terms of speed of response, quality of graphics, quality of animations;
  • Smooth video playback of HD and 3D content in even the most portable form factors;
  • Optimized experience in popular GPU-accelerated productivity applications such as Microsoft PowerPoint where AMD Fusion enables smooth transitions, better animations, easier video editing;
  • Enhanced content management capabilities to help organize the millions of digital media files created and stored by consumers everyday;
  • User interface innovations designed to rapidly evolve as new technologies such as gesture recognition and voice command take advantage of the massive parallel processing capability of GPUs as evidenced by the hundreds of gigaflops of compute power in the AMD Fusion APU codenamed 'Llano.'

The potential carbon footprint savings from AMD Fusion APU technology is dramatic. The AMD Fusion APU tested in the Carbon Footprint Study was found to save an estimated 27.2 kgCO2e over its lifetime compared to the non-APU product. As to the product use, which was by far the greatest source of carbon emissions, the study found that a single AMD Fusion APU-based system could save an estimated 9 KWh of energy/year.2

Based on the latest IDC Worldwide PC Forecast, the 2011 worldwide portable PC market - the primary market for which the AMD Fusion APU Model E-350 is targeted - is estimated to total approximately 233 million units in 2011.3 If AMD Fusion products were to be installed in approximately one-third of that market - or 77 million units - that could result in a total carbon dioxide emission equivalents savings of nearly 500,000 metric tons annually.4 That is the same amount of annual GHG emissions from 95,160 passenger vehicles or the same amount of electricity used by 60,399 homes for one year.

Supporting Resources

  • White paper
  • Tim Mohin blog
  • U.S. EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator

About AMD
AMD (NYSE: AMD) is a semiconductor design innovator leading the next era of vivid digital experiences with its ground-breaking AMD Fusion Accelerated Processing Units (APUs). AMD's graphics and computing technologies power a variety of devices including PCs, game consoles and the powerful computers that drive the Internet and businesses. For more information, visit http://www.amd.com.

AMD, the AMD Arrow logo, AMD Athlon, Radeon, and combinations thereof, are trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Other names are for informational purposes only and may be trademarks of their respective owners.

1Claims for these calculations were based on several studies and standards, including the AMD Phenom™ Footprint Study in collaboration with GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Carbon Trust, and certified by Carbon Trust to be in accordance to PAS 2050. Product use phase calculations were based on two standards: ECMA-383 (Measuring the Energy Consumption of Personal Computing Products) by European Computer Manufacturers Association (ECMA) International ((15) and the ENERGY STAR® Program Requirements for Computers v. 5.0, which was created by the US EPA.

2AMD determined that the AMD Fusion APU-based system could save 6.5 kgCO2e per year, which translates to more than 9 kilowatt-hours of energy consumption per year using the US Environmental Protection Agency's equivalency figure of 0.718 kgCO2e emissions to 1 kilowatt-hour of energy consumption.

3According to IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker Forecast, December 2010, the 2011 worldwide portable PC market is expected to hit 233 million units. One third of that market would equal 77 million units.

4 Equivalencies determined through use of the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Greenhouse Gas Equivalences Calculator, available online at http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html

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