AMD: APUs Will Challenge Traditional Microprocessors

CPUs Without Graphics Cores May Cease to Exist

by Anton Shilov
03/20/2011 | 12:42 PM

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.