AMD has launched what the company calls a new class of accelerated processor, combining more compute capabilities than any processor in the history of computing.
The AMD Fusion Family of Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) incorporate – in a single die design – multi-core CPU (x86) technology, a powerful DirectX 11-capable discrete-level graphics and parallel processing engine, a dedicated high-definition video acceleration block, and a high-speed bus that speeds data across the differing types of processor cores within the design.
New generations of desktop, notebook and HD netbooks are now available based on AMD Fusion APUs. Tablets and embedded designs based on AMD Fusion APUs are expected be available later in Q1 2011. The new range of product features include stutter-free HD video playback, breakthroughs in computational horsepower to handle the most demanding applications DirectX 11-capable graphics and all-day battery life.
AMD expects leading manufacturers Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, MSI, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba to announce plans to deliver AMD Fusion APU-based systems at very compelling value and mainstream price points.
“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.i It’s a new category, a new approach, and opens up exciting new experiences for consumers.”
AMD also says that much of a computing experience is linked to software and, until now, software developers have been held back by the independent nature in which CPUs and GPUs process information. However, AMD Fusion APUs remove this obstacle and allow developers to take full advantage of the parallel processing power of a GPU – more than 500 GFLOPs for the upcoming A-Series “Llano” APU – thus bringing supercomputer-like performance to every day computing tasks. More applications can run simultaneously and they can do so faster than previous designs in the same class.[ii]
Additionally, AMD Fusion technology enables all-day battery life, with ten hours or more. The new power-saving features present in the single-chip design greatly extend the time between plug-ins.
The 2011 mainstream platform is primarily intended for performance and mainstream notebooks and mainstream desktops. It will feature the 32nm die A-Series “Llano” APU, which includes up to four x86 cores and a DirectX 11-capable discrete-level GPU, and is scheduled to ship in the first half of 2011 and appear in products mid-year.