Software for Fusion
One of the problem with software that can take advantage of stream compute capabilities of APUs and GPUs is that it is pretty hard to find. Some applications can do acceleration, some cannot and therefore end-users have to search for them. Perhaps, it makes sense to create a special APU/GPGPU app store that will sell programs tailored for new classes of compute hardware.
Application Store? Or Maybe Not?
X-bit labs: 50 applications is a significant number. Maybe it is time to think about your own APU/GPGPU app store? None of your partners have created such a store so far and even you have not been yet too active in terms of advertising those APU/GPGPU apps via the drivers.
Neal Robison: We are moving forwards. We talked about this at CES [to the industrial journalists] earlier this year. We are marching towards... but we do not have any dates. [...] Consumers have to find a good central place to be able to [localize] isolated applications for Fusion, many of those applications are OpenCL- or [Direct]Compute-based. I think it will be a good service for consumers to have all them in one location.
X-bit labs: Certainly, it is easy to grab programs from one place. But there is no such a place for APU/GPU-accelerated software...
Neal Robison: Those, who acquire Fusion-based PCs really, really want to get applications that are going to make their devices perform really well. That would be a reason for having one central place. That [place] would prevent our partners among software developers from showcasing [their programs] on their own web-sites or other locations. We just want to make sure that consumers have at least one place that they can get all the information that they w ant about those applications which perform the best on their particular device.
There are plenty of non-APU/GPU-accelerated applications that will perform very well on Fusion, so we have to look at how we will define what will be in that app store, if you will.
X-bit labs: So, would you consider to create a store that will sell programs that run best on AMD-based PCs? Or maybe just a web-site that could pinpoint appropriate programs for users' demands after finding what hardware the consumer uses?
Neal Robison: While we have considered the possibility of creating an AMD app store, we are more interested in helping consumers gain access to innovative applications, and not necessarily focused on creating a commercial app store. We do see a need for a centralized, one-stop location where users can easily find applications that are accelerated by AMD Fusion APU-powered PCs. And we believe there’s an important educational component that comes with introducing a new technology such as AMD Fusion. Information that helps users identify which applications and programs are most compatible with their usage needs would be a natural extension of the AMD Vision approach, which helps consumers select their PCs based on how they use it rather than speeds and feeds.