AMD's Kaveri desktops set for January 14, more details coming at CES 2014

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AMD's next-gen APU is running full steam ahead, with the company confirming that we're in for an A-Series start to the new year.

The chipmaker said during the APU13 Developer Summit that its "Kaveri" accelerated processing unit will arrive in desktops (those with FM2+ socket motherboards), notebooks, embedded systems and servers in 2014.

Following FM2+ motherboard shipments to customers later this year, a process Senior Vice President Lisa Su assured us is still on track, Kaveri will arrive in customer desktops starting January 14, 2014.

What's more, AMD said more Kaveri details are due at CES 2014. The Vegas show will serve as "the big coming out party for Kaveri," the company said during a phone briefing on November 7.

While AMD has yet to confirm, we expect the company will hold a pre-CES tech day to lift the lid further on Kaveri.

What is Kaveri?

Kaveri is AMD's third-gen performance APU and the first with heterogeneous system architecture (HSA) features. It also supports AMD's TrueAudio technology and its Mantle API.

The promise is Kaveri boosts devices to the "next level of graphics, compute and efficiency." To that end, Kaveri's highest configuration, A10-7850K is built on four "Steamroller" x86, multi-thread cores. On the graphics end, Kaveri has eight Graphics Core Next cores.

According to AMD, Kaveri's HSA features help unlock all 856 GFlops found in both the CPU and GPU. The GPU carries more of the workload, and a feature called hUMA turns it into a "first-class citizen" when accessing memory.

In fact, the GPU is so first class it jams takes up almost 50% of the die and is a 512-core part. Its clock speed is marked at 720MHz while the CPU snags 3.7GHz.

Kaveri performance

Kaveri's heterogeneous queuing also brings parity to the processors, and the GPU and CPU are equally equipped to create and dispatch work. Instead of having to communicate through the operating system, the two units communicate workload through queues.

And Kaveri has another first up its sleeves - AMD claimed it marks the first time a GPU and CPU have uniform visibility into a machine's entire memory space.

While pricing is still unknown, John Taylor, corporate vice president of corporate communication, said the price of a single Kaveri APU is cheaper than a CPU and GPU sold separately from competitors.

To show Kaveri's dominance, AMD pitted a machine running the APU against a combo Intel Core i7 4470K CPU and Nvidia GeForce GT630 GPU in a 1080 x 1920 Battlefield 4 demo. Kaveri was clearly more capable, running nearly double the frames for second, though it ran its souped up A10-7850K variant.

We're expect to hear more on Kaveri at APU13, so stay tuned for further details.