AMD Expects Fusion to Revolutionize Tablet PCs

AMD: Fusion Will Give Slates True Performance

by Anton Shilov
04/29/2010 | 11:45 PM

Advanced Micro Devices said that slate-type personal computers will benefit hugely from the company’s forthcoming Fusion-concept processors, which will bring them performance of modern central processing units (CPUs) and power of contemporary graphics processing units (GPUs).


AMD has been pretty vocal about its accelerated processing units (APUs) – the chips that combine central processing unit, memory controller and graphics processing unit on the same piece of silicon – but the company has also been pretty coy about potential usage scenarios for such chips. But as the first Fusion-concept chips are getting nearer, AMD shares more details about their potential usage as well as the benefits they can provide. According to a vice president of AMD, the forthcoming products (probably Ontario) will indeed revive the tablet PCs and will bring experience of their usage to a whole new level.

“Think about the advantages you get from a power performance and a form-factor perspective when you can take GPU and CPU and put them on the same die. You get enormous power efficiencies which is going to enable, not only things like tablet and slate, but these great experiences when you use it,” said Leslie Sobon, vice president of marketing at AMD, in an interview with Techradar web-site.

For example, the most popular slate-type PC of today – Apple iPad – lacks Adobe Flash, multi-tasking and a number of other crucial features. Everything that Apple iPad and its successors with ARM processors inside lack will be fully supported by AMD’s Ontario processors, which will ultimately revolutionize the market of tablet personal computers.

"The form factor is one thing but you have to be able to have a great experience with a tablet. Multi-task, watch flash videos; there are things you are going to want to do as a user. People know what they want and web video is pretty much in the top three of every wish list.They might not think of it as web video – they certainly don’t think of it as Flash – all they know it when they go to YouTube they want it to work. They don't want it to flicker and all the better if they can get it in HD or upscale it and that kind of thing,” said Ms. Sobon.

AMD code-named Ontario features two x86 cores based on Bobcat micro-architecture, integrated DirectX 11-class graphics core and DDR3 memory controller on a single-chip system-on-chip (SoC) device. As reported previously, the Bobcat micro-architecture features x86-64, virtualization, SSE, SSE2, SSE3 technologies and will be single-threaded with out-of-order execution. The actual Ontario microprocessor, which is a dual-core chip, will be able to offer 90% of today’s “mainstream performance” in less than half of die area. AMD claims that Bobcat-based products are sub-1W capable. The SoC will be made using a 40nm fabrication process. AMD Ontario is the key part of AMD Brazos platform for low-power devices.