“Merged” CPU-GPU in 2008, Says AMD Chief Technologist

Unified CPU-GPU to Be Made Using 45nm Process Technology

by Anton Shilov
09/25/2006 | 11:53 PM

Chief technology officer of Advanced Micro Devices said in an interview that it is looking forward to create a chip with integrated graphics core in 2008, once proven 45nm process technology is there.

 

“Integration of the CPU and the GPU. Assuming the transaction closes on time, we would target a merged design in the 45nm time frame,” said Phil Hester of AMD in an interview with Cnet News.com.

AMD is usually very tight-lipped over its longer-term plans and talking about the idea to design a chip with integrated general processing and graphics processing capabilities in 2008 means that there is a definite plan to create such a device. Intel Corp. is also looking forward a similar development, however, the company has never announced any particular timeframes or capabilities of such product.

Mr. Hester explained that the trends in the development of graphics processors increased programmability: “We’ve crossed the point where the GPU can do real programs of a significant size,” he said. He then re-iterated the point made earlier by another AMD representative in an interview with AMD and said that the first CPU-GPU will come around 2008.

“It may seem like 2008 is a long way away, but that’s actually a major design cycle,” Mr. Hester said.

Microprocessors integrating graphics capabilities and features of core-logic sets may provide companies like AMD and Intel an opportunity to target yet untapped markets with cost-effective, yet more-or-less powerful computers. Presently only AMD and Intel have competitive x86 processors, the chips that power the absolute majority of personal computers in the world. Presently there are no desktop-class Windows operating systems to run on PowerPC, Cell or ARM central processing units, which means that the world’s two leading CPU makers have advantage over rivals who do not own x86 technology.