AMD Launches New Class of Accelerated Processing Units at CES
At the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, semiconductor giant Advanced Micro Devices launched a new class of accelerated processors that combine powerful compute and graphics capabilities on a single die. The new AMD (News - Alert) Fusion family of accelerated processing units (APUs) incorporate multi-core CPU (x86) technology, powerful DirectX 11-capable discrete-level graphics and parallel processing engine, a dedicated high-definition (HD) video acceleration block, and a high-speed bus on a single semiconductor die.
"We believe that AMD Fusion processors are, quite simply, the greatest advancement in processing since the introduction of the x86 architecture more than 40 years ago," said Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager of AMD Products Group, in a statement. "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. It's a new category, a new approach, and opens up exciting new experiences for consumers.”
According to AMD, the new generation of desktops, notebooks and HD netbooks are now available, based on AMD Fusion APUs, at affordable price points. Tablets and embedded designs based on AMD Fusion APUs are also expected to be available later in this quarter. AMD expects leading manufacturers Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo (News - Alert), MSI, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba to announce plans to deliver AMD Fusion APU-based systems at very compelling value and mainstream price points.
Until now, software developers have been held back by the independent nature in which CPUs and GPUs process information. However, said 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 everyday computing tasks, said the maker.
More applications can run simultaneously and they can do so faster than previous designs in the same class, asserted AMD. In addition, new power-saving features greatly extend the battery life, stated AMD. The AMD Fusion technology enables all-day battery life -- 10 hours or more, claims the manufacturer.
AMD said that the 2011 low power platform (formerly codenamed "Brazos") is available in two APU variations: E-Series and C-Series. These APUs feature the new x86 CPU core codenamed "Bobcat.
Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Tammy Wolf