Silicon sangam is here! AMD has heralded a new era of computing fuelled by a new system-on-a-chip family seamlessly merging general purpose and graphics processiong on the same slab of silicon. AMD’s Fusion Family of what it calls Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) uses a single die design to house multi-core CPU (x86) technology with a powerful graphics and a parallel processing engine. Also on board are a dedicated high-definition video acceleration block, and a high-speed bus that speeds data across the differing types of processor cores within the same design. In other words, CPU+GPU is APU.
Significantly the Fusion family was built from concept to foundry tape-out by AMD’s India based engineers in Hyderabad and Bangalore.
The APU comes in the following two versions based on performance and (low) power draw.
The E-Series, an 18-watt APU formerly codenamed “Zacate” is for ultrathin, mainstream, and value notebooks as well as desktops and all-in-ones.
The C-Series, a 9-watt APU formerly codenamed “Ontario” for netbooks and small form factor desktops and devices.
Both these series are “owned” by AMD’s Hyderabad centre – industry jargon denoting substantial design and development input and responsibility for the future roadmap of the device.
Over 11 AMD Fusion-based systems are expected to be launched in India in the first half of 2011 from leading manufacturers including Sony, HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus, MSI and Toshiba,
“AMD Fusion marks a monumental shift in computing performance, experience and possibilities because of the powerful combination of CPUs and discrete-level GPUs,” says Ravi Swaminathan, Managing Director and Regional Vice-President, Sales & Marketing, AMD India at the launch in Bangalore. “AMD Fusion will eliminate the need for consumers to choose between power and performance enabling exciting new computing experiences at price points that offer tremendous value. This will also allow our partners to offer exciting new form factors on a robust computing platform…..With the APU technology in our stable, we will define the industry standard in personal computing”.
Adds Manju Hegde, Corporate Vice President, Fusion Experience Program. “Through Fusion, AMD is targeting the “sweet spot” for accelerated HD experiences across notebooks, desktops and HD netbooks. Following the successful strategy set by our discrete GPU business, our Fusion APUs are focused on delivering a performance advantage consumers can see and feel in the highest-sales volume segments of the PC industry.”
Also under advanced development for May 2011 release is the Fusion ‘A’ series which effectively kicks the 100 Giga Flop performance of the low powered A and C series to supercomputing space -- more than 500 G Flops on a notebook. This work is being done in AMD’s Bangalore centre says AMD Corporate VP and Chief Engineer ( low power products) Michael Goddard.
According to AMD, the Fusion design enables improvements in some key areas of user interest:
High Definition, HD 2.0 Everywhere The VISION Engine is a n unmatched combination of:
- DirectX 11-capable graphics
- Massive parallel processing to speed application performance[ii] - The UVD3 video acceleration block found in the new AMD Radeon™ HD 6800 Series GPUs
- Unique graphics driver capabilities updated on a monthly basis to continuously improve visual performance
Selecting a PC equipped with the VISION Engine means Internet browsing is a faster, application-like experience; 1080p HD video playback is smooth and quiet; standard definition video looks high-definition; 2D content can be converted into stereoscopic 3D; even the most graphics-intensive websites load quickly; manipulating HD content is fast and easy; and 3D gaming at HD resolutions is fast and life-like.[iii]
Personal Supercomputing AMD Fusion APUs allows developers to take full advantage of the parallel processing power of a GPU – more than 500 GFLOPs for the upcoming A-Series “Llano” APUt hus bringing supercomputer-like performance to every day computing tasks. More applications can run simultaneously and they can do so faster than previous designs in the same class.ii
AMD AllDay Power Additionally, AMD Fusion technology enables all-day battery life – 10 hours or more. The new power-saving features present in the single-chip design greatly extend the time between plug-ins, even when enjoying HD content.
For more tech detail: http://sites.amd.com/us/fusion/apu/Pages/fusion.aspx