Showgoers at AMD’s Fusion 2011 show were wowed by AMD showing off its next generation graphics processor, based on 28nm process technology.
Corporate Vice President and General Manager of AMD’s Graphics Division, Matt Skynner, showed off the new chip as part of his keynote titled, “Enabling the Best Visual Experience.” Skynner demonstrated a notebook-based version of AMD’s 28nm next-generation graphics processor having little trouble with Bioware’s role-playing title, Dragon Age 2.
Skynner said that the outfit’s transition to the 28nm process node, coupled with new innovations in the underlying graphics architecture, is already generating excitement among the ODM community.
There were very few technical specifications for what Skynner showed off. AMD is betting the farm on its Fusion Accelerated Processing Units (APUs). This mirrors Intel’s own strategy of killing off discrete graphic’s cards in favour of hybrid GPU/CPU units.
So far the hybrid chips have only been able to provide fairly basic graphics and have been damaging AMD’s budget GPU range.
After flirting with punters by the sticking its APU technology in notebooks and netbooks first, AMD is finally getting around to sticking it into the desktop.
The fabless chip maker has started promoting its Fusion A-series which is the multi-core processors which combine CPU and GPU chip on the desktop and top of the range notebooks.
The E-series, designed for mainstream notebooks, all-in-one PCs and small desktops and the C-series for HD netbooks and emerging devices have been with us since February. Last month it released its low spec desktop range. But AMD has been slow at getting the top of the range desktop version, which will compete with Intel’s i7 to the market.
The press release promises big things from the range. It even used that phrase “game-changer” which is a short step from paradigm shift, which means we will have to call the police. The press release also mentioned it would shift the entire computer industry from a CPU centric world to a “heterogeneous computing world”. Sheesh we have just got used to a homogenised world and now it has gone all heterogeneous.
While Intel has been there first, AMD’s version has better graphics capability with a discrete-level DirectX11-based graphics engine. It has dedicated HD video processing and dual graphics function.
Dual graphics allows a discrete AMD Radeon graphics card to be linked to the A-series APUs. This allows them to combine their graphics processing power.
At one launch event, AMD ran comparisons between its A8 chips, and the Intel i7. Observers claimed AMD whipped the floor with the graphical performance tests.
AMD has not disclosed the price range for the A-series yet but they will probably be a little cheaper than Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors.