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AMD Steamroller Family 15h is a microarchitecture developed by AMD for AMD APUs, which succeeded Piledriver in the beginning of 2014 as the third-generation Bulldozer-based microarchitecture. Steamroller APUs continue to use two-core modules as their predecessors, while aiming at achieving greater levels of parallelism.
Steamroller still features two-core modules found in Bulldozer and Piledriver designs called clustered multi-thread (CMT), meaning that one module is equal to a dual-core processor. The focus of Steamroller is for greater parallelism. Improvements center on independent instruction decoders for each core within a module, 25% more of the maximum width dispatches per thread, better instruction schedulers, improved perceptron branch predictor, larger and smarter caches, up to 30% fewer instruction cache misses, branch misprediction rate reduced by 20%, dynamically resizable L2 cache, micro-operations queue, more internal register resources and improved memory controller.
AMD estimated that these improvements will increase instructions per cycle (IPC) up to 30% compared to the first-generation Bulldozer core while maintaining Piledriver's high clock rates with decreased power consumption. The final result was a 9% single-threaded IPC improvement, and 18% multi-threaded IPC improvement over Piledriver.
In 2011, AMD announced a third-generation Bulldozer-based line of processors for 2013, with Next Generation Bulldozer as the working title, using the 28 nm manufacturing process.
On 21 September 2011, leaked AMD slides indicated that this third generation of Bulldozer core was codenamed Steamroller.
In January 2014, the first Kaveri APUs became available.
Starting from May 2015 till March 2016 new APUs were launched as Kaveri-refresh (codenamed Godavari).
Kaveri A-series APU
Desktop budget and mainstream markets (FM2+): The Trinity / Richland APU line was replaced in January 2014 by the Kaveri APU line, as the third generation of A10, A8, A6 and A4 series for the desktop market. Top of the line model in 2014 was the quad-core A10-7850K APU, with a 3.7 GHz core frequency and 4 MB L2 cache, incorporating a 720 MHz GPU with 512 stream processors and over 856 GFLOPS of total processing power. In 2015 and 2016 new models with two to four enhanced Steamroller B cores were released as Kaveri-refresh / Godavari. A10-7890K, the new top of the line model, features an increased core frequency of 4.1 GHz and an 866 MHz GPU.
Two or four CPU cores based on the Steamroller microarchitecture
However, plans for Steamroller Opteron products were cancelled, likely due to the poor energy efficiency achieved in this generation of the Bulldozer architecture. Energy efficiency was greatly increased in the following generation, Excavator, which exceeded Jaguar in performance per watt, and approximately doubled performance/watt over Steamroller (for example 20.74 pt/W vs 10.85 pt/W when comparing similar mobile APUs using rough arbitrary metrics).