AMD has been trying to crack their Fusion technology - combining a CPU and a powerful GPU in the same chip - for years now. Today, they showed off working Fusion chips in a demo that got Intel and Nvidia's attention:
If the Fusion APU (advanced processing unit) amounts to everything that was promised, it'll be an extremely appealing alternative for OEMs. And it seems as though they're at least on the right track:
Watching the demo above—if you've got a spare hour—you might not be totally blown away by the performance. But keep in mind that they're still a few months off from being finished with these babies, and that they're intended to go into ultraportables, at least initially.
AMD Demonstrates World's First Fusion APU at Computex 2010
AMD Fusion technology preview offers glimpse into a sleeker, cooler, more vivid future for the computing experience; CPU and GPU on a single chip
AMD extends leadership with new desktops and notebooks powered by VISION technology
TAIPEI, Taiwan -6/2/2010
At Computex 2010, AMD (NYSE: AMD) today delivered the first public demonstration of an AMD Fusion processor, initiating the accelerated processing era. The AMD Fusion™ Family of Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) represents a significant shift in processor architecture and capabilities, combining high-performance serial computing and parallel graphics processing cores onto a single die to improve visual and data-intensive tasks that are pervasive in today's computing environments. A video of today's demonstration can be found here.
Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager, AMD Products Group, provided an APU technology demonstration during a press conference today. This demonstration provided a sneak peek into the upcoming seismic shift in the computing industry: power-efficient processors that combine CPU, GPU, video processing and other accelerator capabilities in a single-die design to efficiently power the most popular and demanding consumer experiences, from HD video applications to media-rich Internet experiences to DirectX® 11 games. The AMD Fusion Family of APUs represent a distinctly powerful processing approach to the evolving digital consumer landscape, where more than 28 billion videos are watched each month online and a thousand pictures are uploaded to social networking sites every second.
"Hundreds of millions of us now create, interact with, and share intensely visual digital content," said Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager, AMD Product Group. "This explosion in multimedia requires new applications and new ways to manage and manipulate data. Low resolution video needs to be up-scaled for larger screens, HD video must be shrunk for smart phones, and home movies need to be stabilized and cleaned up for more enjoyable viewing. When AMD formally launches the AMD Fusion family of APUs, scheduled for the first half of in 2011, we expect the PC experience to evolve dramatically."
Consumers are hungry for applications that run faster and make digital media easier to enjoy, and a new wave of software innovation is taking place as AMD software partners take advantage of AMD APUs and GPUs to enable better experiences across an ever-widening set of content. Microsoft joined AMD on stage at Computex and discussed how AMD Fusion APUs can enable improvements to applications such as Microsoft® Windows® 7 and DirectX® 11, and how CPU and GPU collaborative computing can enable superior PC experiences.
"While visual computing has made incredible strides in recent years, we believe that the AMD Fusion family of APUs combined with Windows® 7 and DirectX® 11 will fundamentally change how applications are developed and used," said Steven Guggenheimer, corporate vice president, original equipment manufacturer division, Microsoft. "Applications such as Internet browsing, watching HD video, PowerPoint and more can enable more immersive, visually rich, and intuitive experiences for consumers worldwide."
In addition to Microsoft DirectX with DirectCompute, software developers can also build enhanced applications using OpenCL via the ATI Stream SDK, which further underscores AMD's commitment to industry standards.