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New AMD Processor May Dramatically Boost Laptop Battery Life

If your laptop constantly dies on you in the middle of the day, you could soon be in luck. AMD released the details of its next processor range, codenamed Carrizo, which promises better energy efficiency and potentially better battery life for laptops.

Initially, the numbers may not seem like much. The core architecture of Carrizo, called Excavator, is only 5 percent faster than AMD's Kaveri processor. However, the secret is in the energy expenditure. According to AMD, in the same amount of time, the new Carrizo processors use 40 percent less energy than its predecessor, and the graphics chip uses 20 percent less energy.

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Also, Carrizo is the first AMD processor to fully support Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA). This means that the processor's CPU and integrated graphics system will be able to share memory, allowing some tasks to be performed faster than before. While Kaveri was considered "HSA Ready," Carrizo will be "HSA Compliant" when it's released. As AnandTech notes, this feature will likely be shown off best in the PCMark benchmark test, which measures a system's overall performance.

While all these details sound promising, AMD will have to battle Intel later this year. Carrizo is expected to be available in Q2 2015, which is around the same time Intel hopes to have its quad-core Broadwell processor ready. We're eager to test the new Carrizo systems to see how much the processor stacks up to both its predecessor and the range of upcoming Broadwell-based machines.

Valentina Palladino is a senior writer for Tom's Guide. Follow her at @valentinalucia. Follow Tom's Guide at @tomsguide and on Facebook.