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AMD: The Fusion APU Era Has Begun

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 31 comments

AMD says that big experiences, sleek designs, all-day battery life and notebooks that stay cool all day are now possible with the new Fusion APU.

AMD says that big experiences, sleek designs, all-day battery life and notebooks that stay cool all day are now possible with the new Fusion APU.

Tuesday AMD officially launched its Fusion family of Accelerated Processing Units. These new APUs combine multi-core CPU (x86) technology, DirectX 11-capable discrete-level graphics, a parallel processing engine, a dedicated high-definition video acceleration block (UVD3), and a high-speed bus all in one simple little die design.

"We believe that AMD Fusion processors are, quite simply, the greatest advancement in processing since the introduction of the x86 architecture more than forty years ago," said Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager, AMD Products Group. "In one major step, we enable users to experience HD everywhere as well as personal supercomputing capabilities in notebooks that can deliver all-day battery life. It's a new category, a new approach, and opens up exciting new experiences for consumers."

AMD's Fusion APU will be broken down into three classes: the A-series "Llano" APUs, the C-Series "Ontario" APUs, and E-Series "Zacate" APUs. The A-Series is designed for personal supercomputing featuring up to four x86 cores and a discrete DirectX 11-capable GPU. The C-Series is designed for HD netbooks and other emerging form factors whereas the E-Series is meant for mainstream notebooks, All-In-Ones, and small form factor desktops.

AMD said that its 2011 low power platform will consist of the C-Series or E-Series whereas the 2011 mainstream platform will feature the A-Series. The latter platform is expected to ship in the first half of 2011 with products hitting the market around mid-2011.

Tablets and embedded designs based on AMD Fusion APUs are expected to be available later in Q1 2011. Currently various leading manufacturers are expected to announce their Fusion APU-based products soon including, Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP and five others.

All Fusion APU-based systems are expected to offer "very compelling value and mainstream price points."

AMD Fusion Official

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  • -1 Hide
    scytherswings , January 5, 2011 1:17 AM
    Anyone else find her voice obnoxious?
  • 2 Hide
    jimmysmitty , January 5, 2011 1:36 AM
    So its announced but when can people buy them?

    I also want to see some reviews on it and see it compared to Sandy Bridge based mobile parts, especially compared to Quick Sync and power usage. Hard to say its great without seeing it in action yet....
  • -1 Hide
    SchizoFrog , January 5, 2011 1:52 AM
    ''The A-Series is designed for personal supercomputing featuring up to four x86 cores...''

    I'm a little confused. Featuring only UP TO 4 cores? Is this not a step backwards as AMD already has 6 core Phenoms albeit an older architecture? Or do they mean the initial APUs at launch will feature up to 4 cores?
  • 2 Hide
    joytech22 , January 5, 2011 2:08 AM
    schizofrog''The A-Series is designed for personal supercomputing featuring up to four x86 cores...''I'm a little confused. Featuring only UP TO 4 cores? Is this not a step backwards as AMD already has 6 core Phenoms albeit an older architecture? Or do they mean the initial APUs at launch will feature up to 4 cores?


    This isn't their high-end version, it isn't designed for super-high-end desktops, but more for cheaper, low-end low-power high-performance computing.

    Bulldozer is designed to tackle the desktop market with 4, 8 and 16 cores in the future.
  • 0 Hide
    kcorp2003 , January 5, 2011 2:30 AM
    i heard Microsoft are might be using AMD fusion II 28nm for their next gen 2.0 consoles. Be interesting to see if they going to put in another dedicated GPU in the system too. However these Sandybridge and AMD fusion build in GPUs aren't powerfull to take on the higher end GPU on the market. I really hope Fusion 2 can be as powerful as a HD5870 specs or GTX580 specs or similar to the mobile version counterparts.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , January 5, 2011 2:32 AM
    @schizofrog

    if you been following you'll know that bulldozer will introduce AMD variant of hyper threading, so 4 physical cores equates to 8 virtual ones, this doesn't account for the GPU cores
  • 1 Hide
    aznshinobi , January 5, 2011 3:02 AM
    @kcorp2003

    It would be nice to see them at a 5870 Mobility level or 580M level but I don't see it happening since the temps would probably get very hot on the die. And in Laptops or notebooks it'd be especially hot since airflow is so poor.
  • -1 Hide
    fstrthnu , January 5, 2011 4:54 AM
    Unfortunately for AMD, their new marketing language will prove to be useless since the new Sandy Bridge chips would be considered APUs too... (graphics on die)
  • -3 Hide
    stingstang , January 5, 2011 6:13 AM
    Yea, so what I'm getting from this is that AMD just sh** a brick seeing what Sandybridge can do, and is pouring their hearts out on this thing. I'd hate to see them come up short...again.
  • 2 Hide
    SpadeM , January 5, 2011 7:07 AM
    hyperThreadings@schizofrogif you been following you'll know that bulldozer will introduce AMD variant of hyper threading, so 4 physical cores equates to 8 virtual ones, this doesn't account for the GPU cores


    Wrong .... bulldozer will have inside a single core two independent integer cluster, meaning that a 4 "core" bulldozer chip will look like and 8 threaded processor BUT unlike hyperthreading or SMT AMD is duplicating actual hardware inside the core.

    1 SMT'd or HT'd core can never and will never be able to compete performance wise with a true dual core, or quad and so on and so forth (if the architecture is the same) This basically means that, if with HT or SMT u get very little return in performance for your money (look at the efficiency article from yesterday in Tom's) with AMDs approach the difference in performance should be considerable given that u actually have 8 "mini" cores. How fast can they process information, what's the power requirement ... these are things that will be reveal later on this year.
  • -1 Hide
    dEAne , January 5, 2011 7:28 AM
    "all-day battery life and notebooks that stay cool all day are now possible with the new Fusion APU" - this is all I wish for a AMD proc coz mostly they are not like that.
  • 1 Hide
    sohei , January 5, 2011 9:17 AM
    fstrthnuUnfortunately for AMD, their new marketing language will prove to be useless since the new Sandy Bridge chips would be considered APUs too... (graphics on die)


    this AMD Apu's consume 9 to 21w of power, sandy bridge
    is out from this scheme
  • 0 Hide
    apache_lives , January 5, 2011 9:31 AM
    soheithis AMD Apu's consume 9 to 21w of power, sandy bridgeis out from this scheme


    desktop chips sure, notebook chips - thats a different story
  • 0 Hide
    sohei , January 5, 2011 9:34 AM
    apache_livesdesktop chips sure, notebook chips - thats a different story



    this "different" story is not yet written
  • 0 Hide
    sykozis , January 5, 2011 9:58 AM
    fstrthnuUnfortunately for AMD, their new marketing language will prove to be useless since the new Sandy Bridge chips would be considered APUs too... (graphics on die)


    So, I guess it's a good thing that these Fusion APU's are intended to compete with the Sandy Bridge processors that were announced this week....
  • 4 Hide
    kartu , January 5, 2011 11:13 AM
    I don't have where all that "oh the SB" comes from.
    Exactly what did impress you?
    Faster video encoding? Did you check the bloody quality drop, eh?
  • 6 Hide
    sandmanwn , January 5, 2011 12:25 PM
    Sandy Bridge, pfff. They chose to change one thing on it and make it work well, Encoding. Other than that, its the same old joke IGP we've always received from Intel.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 5, 2011 1:15 PM
    @SpadeM

    Didn't say it was hyper threading, said it was their variation on it, and yes real cores always wins hands down

    @fstrthnu

    clearly you haven't been following closely enough, an APU is not simply a CPU and GPU bundled into a single die, it's the leveraging of the GPU stream/CUDA cores to aid with the completion of general purpose processing task, so far intel has only managed to produce one highly tailored application for video encoding, thats far from general purpose processing task, should intel find a use for quicksync outside of video encoding then i will happily redact my statement. The APU will allow AMD to take the value proposition to another level, augmenting a CPU with the under utilized power of the GPU to allow it to surpass the performance of a higher rated CPU, just throwing the CPU and GPU on a single die aint going get you there
  • 0 Hide
    sonofliberty08 , January 5, 2011 2:16 PM
    fstrthnuUnfortunately for AMD, their new marketing language will prove to be useless since the new Sandy Bridge chips would be considered APUs too... (graphics on die)

    Fusion are true on die APU , sandy bitch was just 2 die (CPU + cappy intel IGP) on 1 package .
    just like the Athlon64 X2 was true native dual core and the Pentium D was just 2 die (crappy prescott) in 1 package .
  • -1 Hide
    tommysch , January 5, 2011 2:56 PM
    Quote:
    "We believe that AMD Fusion processors are, quite simply, the greatest advancement in processing since the introduction of the x86 architecture more than forty years ago,"


    ROFL, thats a funny one.

    kartuI don't have where all that "oh the SB" comes from. Exactly what did impress you?Faster video encoding? Did you check the bloody quality drop, eh?


    Nobody cares about that waste of transistor that is the integrated GPU. SB is all about the 32nm process and the OC headroom of the K models (read 5GHz).
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