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Standalone central processing units (CPUs) for client computers will be challenged by accelerated processing units (APUs) with integrated graphics core, a high-ranking officer at AMD said in an interview. APUs provide better performance because of its ability to efficiently process both parallelized and serialized data.

"I think APUs will definitely challenge standalone CPUs. I believe that the future of consumer as well as commercial computing environments are characterized by the ability to present a compelling visual experience. Taking a GPU core and a CPU core and using them together on one chip will definitely challenge standalone CPUs," said Neal Robison, senior director of content and application support, in an interview with X-bit labs published on Sunday.

Accelerated processing units integrate many parallel GPU processing elements as well as several "fat" x86 CPU cores that can efficiently process typical data. Many performance-demanding applications nowadays use parallel processing and receive benefits from both multi-core CPUs as well as many-core CPUs. Nonetheless, there are loads of programs that use advanced microprocessors and have no need for GPUs.

But while APUs will confront low-cost systems, they will not challenge and will not become part of advanced personal computers with discrete graphics cards.

"I do not think that APUs will challenge discrete GPUs on anything, but on the lowest-end systems. When you look at adding a discrete GPU that enhances performance of the graphics side, it makes a huge amount of sense as it scales [performance] on a wide amount of applications because of the rich visual experience that everybody expects now when they are actually using their computing device," added Mr. Robison.


Tags: AMD, ATI, Fusion, Phenom, Radeon, Llano, zacate, Ontario, Wichita, Zambezi


Comments currently: 2
Discussion started: 03/20/11 02:43:40 PM
Latest comment: 03/22/11 07:33:28 PM


If you look at the Radeon cores that are being used several things really stand out. The HD 6370 is a 7 watt core as discrete GPU so they probably draw much less as APU. Clearly this is headed for laptops. These cores also have one other HUGE common denominator.

Here's a link for Radeon releases: [...] sing_units

They were all released Nov 2010!!! If anybody does not believe that AMD Llano will eliminate the mid price point mass market for discrete gpu's then they really need to have a hard look at the facts.

AMD is releasing Radeon 6990 without quantity restrictions. Nvidia is releasing less than 1000 GeForce 590's. The 590 is a cherry picked dual gpu board. It may perform equal to or actually outperform Radeon 6990. But what good is it if you can't buy it? Or is the market for bleeding edge bragging rights also just not there?

The mass market supports new gpu core development. Without the sales of millions of discrete gpu's for legacy upgrades, the next generation doesn't get designed or if it does without the prospect of any mass sales volume then it becomes a very expensive piece of silicon.

A good example is the ATI FirePro and Nvidia Quadro brands. They simply do not have the mass volume sales to allow for a lower purchase price point of $2000-$3000.00, the demand is simply not there. Product refreshes are also not as frequent as the mass market again due to demand.

If AMD is using this year’s top discrete gpu design for next years Fusion APU then the discrete gpu market is most certainly dead. Will there be a reason to upgrade a one year old Llano box with the latest discrete GPU? For what gain other than bragging rights? And what would be the discrete GPU demand looking forward?

The real question becomes is that AMD’s plan? And if so how does Nvidia plan to keep the discrete market open? Does Nvidia license core designs to Intel?

The other question is just what does AMD plan to do with Bulldozer? It seems that Bulldozer will be the server, workstation or high performance desktop and gamers cpu. This is certainly not a mass market cpu. As a server obviously graphics are not needed beyond a motherboard integrated gpu. So there will be some demand for discrete gpu boards with Bulldozer.
The next question becomes. When does AMD release Bulldozer with an on die graphics core? Because Bulldozer will be the only market left open for discrete gpu’s.

Of course just how Intel intends to answer AMD will determine the future of Nvidia graphics. Arguably Intel cannot compete with the AMD/ATI library. Every few months AMD releases new graphics silicon, they are continually evolving that product to meet present market demand. Intel is not a graphic’s design house. But now they have to be to keep their CPU business competitive. That means they are designing graphics gpu’s to penetrate a market that is owned 100% by AMD and Nvidia.

AMD is now designing discrete GPU’s with the intention of integrating that design on-die for an APU release ONE YEAR LATER! That has to be an optimized model and as such just how can Nvidia compete with AMD if they don’t have that insight into Intel future release Architectures? Nvidia’s only market will be on an Intel Inside box.

Right now AMD is directing the future of CPU design. They have the edge over Intel with ownership of arguably the world’s best graphics design portfolio and gpu design team. And they have the cost edge over Nvidia as they simply sell a one year old core design on die to millions of consumers as an APU. For Intel to remain competitive they are forced into the same model and this model shuts out Invidia.

0 0 [Posted by: akamateau  | Date: 03/20/11 02:43:40 PM]


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