by Anton Shilov
12/12/2010 | 03:12 PM
Systems powered by AMD’s code-named Ontario and Zacate accelerated processing units (APUs) will cost starting from $349. The world’s second largest supplier of microprocessors for personal computers hopes to revolutionize the markets of low-cost netbooks and notebooks with its new chips thanks to high amount of advantages that they bring.
“We believe we should see notebooks [based on Ontario and Zacate] in around the $349 range,” said Godfrey Cheng, a director of client technology unit at AMD, in an interview with X-bit labs.
The Ontario and Zacate accelerated processing units belong to the Brazos platform that brings a number of features that so far have not been available at low price-points. According to AMD, the Brazos platform offers a significant amount of advantages compared to Intel Atom, the chip that powers the fast majority of notebooks. Among the most important advantages of Brazos AMD names better micro-architecture, DirectX 11 graphics engine as well as support for general-purpose computing on graphics processing unit.
“Brazos has excellently balanced performance on x86, graphics and parallel compute. If you look at typical Atom platform today, it basically has out-of-date in-order x86 core [as well as low-end graphics adapter]. We have out-of-order x86 core. We have DirectX 11 graphics engine with UVD 3.0 video decoder. We have GPGPU with DirectCompute and OpenCL support. Our 9W/18W solution provide performance and feature-set comparable to competitor's 35W solutions,” said Mr. Cheng.
AMD Brazos platform for desktops and mobile computers will consist of AMD Fusion accelerated processing unit (APU) code-named Ontario/Zacate as well as code-named Hudson D1 fusion controller hub, which will connect to processor using PCI Express 2.0 x4 bus and will support 4 PCIe x1 ports, PCI bus, 6 Serial ATA-300 ports, 14 USB 2.0 ports as well as integrated clock-generator. The part does not support RAID, Gigabit Ethernet and other capabilities, hence, Brazos platform will hardly be suitable for commercial systems without additional chips.
There will be four AMD APUs released initially: