Advanced Micro Devices has unveiled unloaded a bevy of product roadmap details for its upcoming Fusion processors—though; much of the information had already been leaked last month.
AMD's Fusion chips are the culmination of the chip maker's blending of x86 central processor technology with the GPU instruction set it acquired when it bought ATI Technologies in 2006. By putting both key computing functions on a single processor die, the company thinks it has a more compelling processor package for makers of mobile computers and light-footprint desktops than rivals Intel and Nvidia.
AMD calls these chips "accelerated processing units" or APUs. The company's A-Series APUs, formerly codenamed Llano, are currently shipping to computer makers and are expected to appear in more than 150 desktops and notebooks set to hit retail shelves throughout the second quarter of this year, AMD said.
The company isn't shy about talking up the advantages of its A-series processors, which combine up to four x86 CPU cores with up to 400 Radeon GPU cores with DirectX11 support, and dedicated HD video processing on a single chip of silicon.
Is Advanced Micro Devices finally making a major push into the tablet market? That's the signal sent by leaked product roadmap slides showing plans for an AMD tablet chip codenamed Desna that surfaced on NGOHQ.com last week.
The slides don't offer any specs for AMD's Z-Series accelerated processing unit, or APU, nor do they name a release date other than the heading "2011 AMD HD Tablet Platform Overview."
Here's what we do know. AMD thinks Desna is well-suited for both consumer media tablets and devices built for business use. The chip maker is playing up its graphics prowess with promises of "smooth streaming HD video," AdobeFlash 10.2 acceleration, Microsoft Office 10 visual enhancements, and support for DirectX 11 and Windows 7 Effects.
Desna also runs accelerated HTML 5 and Internet Explorer 9, while "leveraging the Microsoft Windows application base," which sounds a bit like AMD saying, "we don't actually have an app store for this chip."
The Z-Series platform's commercial play seems to be summed up with promises of "full integration and support in IT environments," "unparalleled versatility and security," and "enhanced productivity."
Uh-oh, this one can’t be good for AMD. After AMD’s latest chip release was met by disappointment by the benchmarking crowd, some were kind of bummed out about waiting for the new Phenoms. Then, just a few days ago, the company vowed to cut their workforce by 10% by September after lowering their Q1 sales expectations. Now, we have even worse news, as AMD CTO Phil Hester has voluntarily resigned from his position. MarketWatch says he is doing this to “persue other opportunities,” which is what we hear from just about any high-level exec who suddenly decides to leave a company. No word yet on who his replacement will be - in fact, AMD says he won’t be replaced. Um, what?
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At CES 2008, AMD‘s Phil Hester gave us a look at what “accelerated computing” means. AMD is in a unique position with their acquisition of ATi that allows them to fuse the CPU and GPU into one chip, which could potentially provide for an unparalleled computing experience, especially when it comes to gaming.