AMD debuts first Fusion chips

Launched at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), AMD’s new class of accelerated processor is said to combine “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 — multi-core CPU (x86) technology, a DirectX 11-capable discrete-level graphics and parallel processing engine, a dedicated high-definition video acceleration block, and a high-speed data bus.


AMD said new generations of desktop, notebook 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 expected to be available later in the first quarter of 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 (of 10 hours or more thanks to new power-saving features).

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 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.”

The VISION Engine offers DirectX 11-capable graphics, massive parallel processing to speed application performance, the UVD3 video acceleration block found in the new AMD Radeon HD 6800 Series GPUs, and unique graphics driver capabilities updated on a monthly basis to continuously improve visual performance, said AMD.

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, said AMD. With the AMD Fusion APUs, software developers can take full advantage of the parallel processing power of a GPU — more than 500 GFLOPs for the upcoming A-Series “Llano” APU, which AMD said brings supercomputer-like performance to every day computing tasks, allowing more applications to run simultaneously and faster than previous designs in the same class.


The 2011 low-power platform (formerly codenamed “Brazos”) is available now in two APU variations: E-Series and C-Series. These APUs feature the new x86 CPU core codenamed “Bobcat.” “Bobcat” is AMD’s first new x86 core since 2003.

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, according to AMD.