Intel's CPU+GPU For Desktops And Notebooks To Arrive In Q2 2009

Santa Clara (CA) - AMD has been pushing its Fusion idea for quite some time. The company claims the Fusion concept was one of the main reasons why they acquired ATI in the first place. The timetable for Fusion has been set, but Intel is working on a similar CPU/GPU combination and we are hearing that Intel may have its product earlier in the market than AMD, TG Daily has learned.

AMD's Fusion is scheduled to arrive sometime in the second half of 2009, primarily targeting notebook applications. By the way, the dual-core CPU with an integrated ATI RV7xx core is codenamed "Black Swift", while the single-core with the ATI RV7xx core is known as "White Swift". There is no information on possible tri- or quad-core versions of Fusion at this time.

If you have been wondering what Intel is up to, we have reported previously that the company has been working on a similar CPU/GPU approach. Based on the Nehalem architecture, Intel will be rolling out two version of such a processor, Havendale and Auburndale.

Both Havendale and Auburndale should come to market in first half of 2009, were were told by industry sources. Both processors will combine two CPU cores as well as an integrated graphics subsystem based on the G45 successor. We can't call Intel's graphics solution really GPUs, since they do not support some key features of DX9 and DX10 APIs. Since these chips are based on Nehalem, they will also support Hyperthreading (Intel's original virtual dual-core approach that was introduced with the Pentium 4), which means that the processors will be able to handle four threads total.

What makes Intel's approach interesting is the fact that Havendale is a desktop CPU and Auburndale is a notebook CPU. Both feature an integrated dual-channel memory controller supporting DDR3-1333 memory, but neither of them has QuickPath, Intel's shiny new Front Side Bus: Auburndale will support QuickPath when connected to a NorthBridge chip from the Ibexpeak-m platform.

There is also a difference in processor sockets - Havendale will be placed on a new socket for Intel's desktop platform, LGA-1160; Auburndale will use the brand-new mPGA-989 socket. The thermal design power 75 watts for the desktop part, and 45/55 watts for the mobile part. Both processors will be manufactured in 45 nm. These power numbers may not sound that impressive, but consider that the first standalone dual-core Pentium was rated at up to 130 watts without graphics, and the progress becomes obvious.

Ibexpeak and Ibexpeak-m will be known as Intel's desktop and mobile platform for 2009, with Ibexpeak most likely being branded as "5 series" (P5x, X5x), while Ibexpeak-M will get a Centrino name.

The key difference difference between AMD Fusion and Intel's Nehalem + VGA approach, as it appears today, is the fact that AMD is expected to actually use a real and very capable GPU. So, if Intel wants to make anything out of their CPU+GPU project, we would hope that the company throws its current products in the toilet and starts working on a new and more capable 3D architecture and drivers. Something like this here.