Taipei (Taiwan) - AMD pushed Fusion as one of the main reasons to justify its acquisition of ATI. Since then, AMD’s finances have changed colors and are now deep in the red, the top management has changed, and Fusion still isn’t anything AMD wants to discuss in detail. But there are always "industry sources" and these sources have told us that Fusion is likely to be introduced as a half-node chip.
It appears that AMD’s engineers in Dresden, Markham and Sunnyvale have been making lots of trips to little island of Formosa lately - the home of contract manufacturer TSMC, which will be producing Fusion CPUs. Our sources indicated that both companies are quite busy laying out the productions scenarios of AMD’s first CPU+GPU chip.
The first Fusion processor is code-named Shrike, which will, if our sources are right, consist of a
dual-core Phenom CPU and an ATI RV800 GPU core. This news is actually a big surprise, as Shrike was originally rumored to debut as a combination of a dual-core Kuma CPU and a RV710-based graphics unit. A few more quarters of development time gave AMD time to continue working on a low-end RV800-based core to be integrated with Fusion. RV800 chips will be DirectX 10.1 compliant and are expected to deliver a bit more than just a 55 nm-40 nm dieshrink.
While Shrike will debut as a 40 nm chip, the processor is scheduled to transition to 32 nm at the beginning of 2010 - not much later than Intel will introduce 32 nm - and serve as a stop-gap before the next-gen core, code-named "Bulldozer" arrives. The Bulldozer-based chip, code-named "Falcon", will debut with TSMC’s 32nm SOI process, instead of the originally planned 45 nm.
As Fusion is shaping up right, we should expect the chip be become the first half-node CPU (between 45 and 32 nm) in a very long time.
And contrary to what one person says above, it depends on how many Stream units it has as to whether it will actually be good for gaming. The Phenom side can play games at 1024 as can the 3200 (not CrySis of course). This should be the 4200\4300 if it's RV800.
With Intel production technology Phenom would most propable have much better clock speeds. Now with this prosessor we talk about much smaller production node, so it's not easy to tell how good this is gonna be. It can be good, or not so good. I hope that this is good, because it really can be very good home theather chip! Two CPU cores and GPU in one piece. It has potential of being more than sum of it's components.
You allso have to remember that all the components here have the same memory pool, so there is not separate memory for GPU.
Predictions (IMHO method used ;-)
Good parts: faster communication between CPU and GPU. Power reguirements (total). Small size (total)
Bad: GPU use normal DDR memory, is it limiting factor is hard to say. It has not been done before (I supose). Many thing can go wrong. "Only" two CPU cores at this moment (Not big problem, because this is not gonna be highend speed monster? anyway)
Fusion should be cheap, low power solution... 4 graphics cards eats that away :-)
ps. If AMD can make it so that in 2D you could use fusion GPU and in 3D some other graphic card like in Nvidia solution, well maybe it would be useful even then.