Posts Tagged ‘amd fusion’
AMD has introduced the term APU (accelerated processing unit ) to go hand in hand with its “Fusion” series of chips. Fusion is a result of the well known merger between AMD and graphics chip company ATI and is based on the idea of combining 3D graphics processing and GPU functions into the same chip as the CPU.
One of the most interesting early variants I believe, will be the chip codenamed “Zacate”. Zacate will be a dual core chip, running at a clock speed of 1.6Ghz and including 80 radeon based graphics processing cores. Drawing an incredibly low 18W of power it will find its home in ultrathin and small form factor PCs, netbooks, and low power notebooks, and to me sounds like the perfect platform for my next Home Theatre PC build, squarely targeting an area, which until now has been dominated by the Intel Atom.
Both the dual core Zacate and its single core variant “Ontario” are 64 bit capable, support 1066Mhz DDR3 memory and the integrated Radeon “Cedar” graphics chip supports DirectX 11 graphics extensions and include Unified Video Decoder UVD3 which provides dedicated hardware acceleration for High Definition video up to and including full 1080p.
AMD has already allowed certain industry journalists early access to engineering samples of the platform and the preliminary performance results are quite impressive. Considering the immature stage of the platform and also its associated drivers, the zacate system was able to outperform an Atom D525 1.8Ghz with standalone nVidia ION2 graphics chip across a wide variety of benchmarking tests, with the exception of open GL games, however open GL is rarely used in modern game implementations. This is quite a feat considering the integrated nature of the graphics processing. Also quite impressive was the fact that this performance level was achieved with a power consumption of 31Watts under load compared to 41Watts for the Atom system and a miserly 11Watts at idle compared to 25Watts for the Atom system.
It certainly looks like AMD has thrown a grenade straight into this market segment which until now has been dominated by the Intel Atom CPU and it will be interesting to see whether or not Intel has technology in the pipeline which it can use to respond to this new challenge from AMD. As usual the DCA stock room will be the barometer of this new technology’s success in the coming months.