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Advanced Micro Devices officially unveiled its first series of accelerated programming interface at the Consumer Electronics Show 2011. The code-named Ontario and Zacate APUs designed for entry-level notebooks, netbooks and nettops are the world's first chips that integrate x86 processing cores and a DirectX 11-class graphics core into the same die. AMD hopes that new levels of multimedia performance and power efficiency will help it to boost sales.

The new low-power AMD Vision and Mobile Internet platforms (previously code-named Brazos) rely on dual-core or single-core central processing unit with integrated DirectX 11 graphics processor with 80 stream processors, universal video decoder 3.0, various other special-purpose hardware as well as code-named Hudson input/output controller. These APUs feature the new x86 CPU core codenamed Bobcat, which is AMD's first new x86 core since 2003 and was designed from the ground up to deliver stellar mobile performance. AMD expects mobile computers based on the its Brazos platform to work for ten hours or even longer on a single battery charge.

Thanks to growing importance of multimedia applications and high-definition video, AMD hopes that its new chips will become popular on the market. Unfortunately, since general-purpose performance of Bobcat cores operating at up to 1.60GHz is pretty low, AMD and its partners will have to explain end-users that APUs can utilize their graphics processors for specially-optimized applications. This approach promises major performance increases in highly-parallel apps, which is why AMD pins a lot of hopes on them.

"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. 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 is a new category, a new approach, and opens up exciting new experiences for consumers," said Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager of AMD products group.

Initially several versions of AMD APUs will be available:

  • E350 - two low-power Bobcat cores operating at 1.60GHz, Radeon HD 6310 graphics engine with 80 stream processors and universal video decoder 3.0 engine operating at 500MHz, 18W TDP;
  • E240 - one low-power Bobcat cores operating at 1.50GHz, Radeon HD 6310 graphics engine with 80 stream processors and universal video decoder 3.0 engine operating at 500MHz, 18W TDP;
  • C50 - two low-power Bobcat cores operating at 1.0GHz, Radeon HD 6250 graphics engine with 80 stream processors and universal video decoder 3.0 engine operating at 280MHz, 9W TDP;
  • C30 -one low-power Bobcat cores operating at 1.20GHz, Radeon HD 6250 graphics engine with 80 stream processors and universal video decoder 3.0 engine operating at 280MHz, 9W TDP;

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. 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 be available later in Q1 2011.

Tags: AMD, Fusion, Ontario, zacate, Brazos, 40nm

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