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AMD Shows Off More CPU/GPU Fusion in Zacate

Even though it's the Intel Developer Forum, that's not going to stop AMD from taking advantage of the gathering of techies. AMD has its own suite for people to stop by, and the company is showing off some of its Fusion technology. Also shown at IFA, AMD has a Zacate platform on demo, which is based on Bobcat.

There will be two variations of the platform based on this APU. Ontario is the 9-Watt version aimed at netbooks and similar devices. The other is Zacate, featuring an 18-Watt TDP, meant to compete in the same segment as Intel’s current CULV-CPUs (Pentium, Core 2, Core 2 Duo). In both cases, the APU will contain two x86 cores and a DX11 compatible graphics unit (rumored to be a derivative of the Redwood family). It’s possible we will also see single-core versions of these chips. The APU uses a BGA package and is soldered directly onto the motherboard. Thanks to its very compact dimensions, that makes it ideal for especially small computers such as HTPCs using the ITX form factor in AMD’s opinion.

The demo consisted of three main parts, namely a game demo, some GPU accelerated applications, and HD video playback. First, we were shown City of Heroes running quite smoothly at 1366 x 768. Then AMD moved on to some HTML5 demos. On the first run, these were launched in the current version of Internet Explorer 8, running as choppy as one would expect. Then, the same demos were repeated using the latest preview version of Internet Explorer 9 with GPU acceleration enabled, which resulted in silky-smooth frame rates. We were also shown a short H.264 movie at 1080p, with Zacate once again having no trouble producing smooth playback. As a side note, the APU’s heatsink barely got warm to the touch during any of these tests, which bodes well for its use in mobile devices.

As far as AMD is concerned, the hardware is ready for action and will ship to OEMs during the fourth quarter of 2010. We should see several systems based on the new APUs at next year’s CES in January.

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With contributions from Uwe Scheffel and Benjamin Kraft from Tom's Hardware Germany.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • digiex
    I foresee that it will trample Atom in the ITX versions.
    Reply
  • da_syentist
    and for mainstream pc ..... (wired voice at the end, that clearly is not shot at the same time) lol
    Reply
  • radiumburn
    OO looking good AMD

    I have happy pants!!
    Reply
  • ares1214
    Anandtech proved it, the i5 520m in this video had the wrong drivers which cost it a LOT of performance. But still, good job AMD.
    Reply
  • scook9
    Thank god...we need something to kill the atom....it has ruined so many netbooks :(
    Reply
  • nforce4max
    Screw ITX this is the best thing for Tablets and laptops. Yet they refuse Tablets -_-
    Reply
  • kamen
    ares1214Anandtech proved it, the i5 520m in this video had the wrong drivers which cost it a LOT of performance. But still, good job AMD.In that Anandtech article it goes on to say that Amd allowed Anandtech to force install new intel drivers and add extra benchmarking software of its own choice and the Amd chip still beat the Intel by a wide margin. This chip is the Zacate duel core chip and it is beating an Intel i5 m520. I can't wait to see how badly it beats the Culv line of cpu's it is really meant to compete with. Zacate's little brother "Ontario" (single core) should be a Atom smasher in the netbook form factor. Here's that Anandtech link.

    Reply
  • kamen
    ...or here it is.
    Reply
  • schmich
    As many sites state it's sad how AMD keep tweaking their benchmarking previews. This time with anything from bad drivers on the Intel laptop to making the competition render harder things. On one video I saw the Intel laptop render a completely different area of the map. On another they spin the Intel 360degrees and mention the FPS at its lowest points whilst only showing the AMD in one specific direction.

    Zacate is a nice chip so why do they do this lowly thing, that's more big Intel's job of not being fair and square.
    Reply
  • hellwig
    I know that board in the picture is some kind of development setup, but I'm perplexed by its hugeness. What kind of crazy things can they do with that board?
    Reply