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AMD Fusion — what is it?

Everyone has heard about Fusion, so it about time to tell what it stands for in the World of micro-processors

Everyone has heard about Fusion, so it about time to tell what it stands for in the World of micro-processors

AMD Fusion — next generation AMD processors featuring high scalability, great performance and power-efficiency. Processors with CPU and GPU cores located on a single crystal are named APU (accelerated processing unit), in other words — it’s “all-in-one” or something like that. AMD Fusion processors’ debut is set to 2011. As for me, I have different vision of AMD Fusion. For me AMD Fusion — its a construction set that consists of blocks of processor cores of different architecture and different graphics processors, a combination of which results in birth of a particular platform. The perception of AMD Fusion as a construction set helps in understanding the variety of platforms and solutions, that are meant by these two words. In addition, by Fusion AMD also implies a business model.

In 2011 we will meet AMD Fusion featuring several platforms each targeted at a particular market segment:

AMD platforms in 2011

Desktop processor line-up includes three platforms:

  • “Scorpius” targeted at computer segment of High performance. Processor cores will be based on “Bulldozer” microarchitecture.
  • “Dorado” features dual- and quad-core processors and will support discrete graphics cards of the latest generation “Northern Islands” It is targeted at Mainstream segment.
  • “LinX” platform is based on “Llano” APU and completes the line-up of Desktop processors.

The notebook series processors will have two platforms:

  • “Danube” platform will see some updates, dual- and quad-core processors coupled with “Vancouver” discrete graphics cards will take place in Mainstream segment
  • “Sabine” will include several APU models

Платформа “Brazos” platform is designed to be used in Ultralight notebooks, netbooks and other portable devices. The platform features two series of APUs aimed at a different market segments:

  • “Zacate” will be used in high-end portable solutions
  • “Ontario” is intended for portable devices with power consumption and size to be the most important parameters

In Desktop segment “Scorpius” platform will have to stand against Intel Core i7 processors, while “Dorado” and “LinX” will have to deal with Intel Core i3 и i5 models in the same segment:

New AMD platforms against competitors

As for notebooks, “Danube” and “Sabine” will compete against already mentioned Intel processors of mobile segment and “Brazos” will be opposed to Intel Pentium, Intel Celeron and Intel Atom processors.

Summing up short introduction words, we can outline the main construction blocks of AMD Fusion :

  • Processor cores are built on two new architectures:
    • Bulldozer — designed for High-End solutions. One processor or APU of 2011 architecture can have from 4 to 16 cores (later from 2 to 20 cores)
    • Bobcat with its main advantages of low power consumption rates and small die size. Bobcat-based APUs will be used mainly inside portable devices. The number of core varies from one to two.
  • Graphics processors:
    • Discrete graphics cards will accompany High-end processors.
    • Integrated solution will be included inside APUs.

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