CES 2010, Day 1: AMD CPUs, DX11 Goes Mobile, Fermi Spotted

Day One Begins

It’s Wednesday of CES week. The show floor hasn’t opened yet, but "press conference day" is in full swing. I managed to avoid these mass events, but if you want more on what’s happening in the consumer electronics arena, check out the CES coverage at Tom’s Guide.

That’s not to say we weren’t busy. I had an extended session with AMD, talking up everything from CPUs to laptops to graphics. Later, I had lunch with the folks from Zalman. What I thought would just be a brief meeting on CPU coolers became an extended session, venturing into the territories of power supply efficiency and 3D displays, as well as coolers and cases. One of the final events of the day began with a briefing by Patriot Memory, plus a CES launch party hosted by Patriot and Gigabyte. Let’s take a look at what transpired.

Finally, we’ve got a special treat: the first ever public showing of GF100. What exactly is GF100, you ask? Think Nvidia and DirectX 11.

AMD: No Answer To Intel's 32nm CPUs

AMD offered up no fewer than four briefings, though we can’t really say much about two of them. The first briefing was with Bob Grim on AMD's CPU roadmap. The bottom line: AMD really has no counter for Intel on the CPU side in the near term. It’s good that Intel settled with AMD and forked over $1.25 billion, because Intel will probably earn it all back as AMD struggles to compete.

AMD is a competitive company, of course, and isn’t taking the disparity in performance and power efficiency lying down. It has been aggressive on the mobile front, chalking up design wins against Intel’s CULV processors, as can be seen with the most recent announcement of the AMD-exclusive ultra-light Lenovo ThinkPad X100e laptop. But with Intel’s Arrandale launch, the only real ace up AMD’s sleeve is its superior integrated graphics, which the company is pushing hard.

AMD showcased some interesting new laptop initiatives, some of which were still in the proof-of-concept phase. The dual-display ultra-light notebook from Kohjinsha (above), isn’t available in the US. AMD also demonstrated Eyefinity triple display technology running on an Acer netbook-class machine with the aid of a custom external graphics module, but that’s not an actual product just yet.

On the desktop CPU side, there are some interesting products on the roadmap for 2010. Perhaps most exciting for the enthusiast crowd is an offering code-named Thuban, a six-core monster built on Globalfoundries' 45nm manufacturing process. It’s unlikely to be competitive on the performance side against Intel’s upcoming Gulftown-based 32nm CPUs. So, what’s likely to happen is that you’ll be able to get a six-core CPU that won’t be priced out of reach.

All of the CPUs on AMDs 2010 roadmap, though, are extensions of the 45nm manufacturing process it employs today. We won’t see an updated micro-architecture from AMD until the arrival of 2011’s Zambezi and Llano CPUs.

More on CES 2010

  • alterecho
    i just lost some respect for ati. I really appreciated their 4000 series
    mobility parts since they were truthful unlike nvidia.

    It looks like AMD cpu division - so so engineering, good marketing.
    AMD graphics divisions - superb engineering, really bad marketing at least
    on the mobility front. Hope they don't turn into a nvidia any further.
    alswome hope its out soon
  • jenesuispasbavard
    I agree with alterecho, even the Mobility Radeon 4850 has 800 stream processors, and now the Mobility Radeon 5870 has the same? At least it's GDDR5...
  • soark
    What is the motherboard used in the Fermi preview? The motherboard orientation is up, is that any good?
  • The case looks awesome, 6 internal hd's good layout.. whats the model!?
  • cobular
    paradoksThe case looks awesome, 6 internal hd's good layout.. whats the model!?Pretty sure its the new silverstone raven (think thats the name) case the rotated 90 degrees motherboard is pretty unique.
  • Ryun
    zipzoomflyhighIt's good that a company proven to lie, cheat, steal and bribe is going to make the money back it payed as punishment? Really?I know TH are total Intel fanboys, but man, Loyd Case, you take the cake.
    He meant it's good for AMD; you really just took what he said out of context. Regardless of whether he's a fanboy or not the fact is AMD doesn't really have anything new for us on the CPU front. While the X4 Athlon IIs are pretty competitive with the i3s they're certainly in for a rough year. It'll help thing they've got a good thing going with the 5-series radeons, though.
  • linaaslt
    As i'v read you'll need to get a new case for Fermi, the case that you can see in picture, and that's sad news for some of us... :/
  • leon2006
    I'm waiting for detailed HDTV 3D specs/standards definition. I'm in a market for another HDTV and I'm reconsidering it pending the definition of the new standard. Its pretty clear that we need to purchase new TV set to avail of 3D movies/shows at home.
  • brisingamen
    um i gotta say the nvidia fermi display looked nice and weak, judging by the lack of fanfare it makes me think that it could be a 5850 re-cased for all we know running that benchmark haha,