AMD hails Fusion era

AMD has introduced Fusion, bringing together GPU and CPU modules onto one chip.

Processor

AMD has officially launched its range of Fusion chips at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas after years of production work.

Combining GPU and CPU modules on one chip, AMD Fusion processors come with a built-in DirectX 11-capable graphics chip and a high-definition video acceleration block to help deal with demanding video content.

Initially, there will be two different kinds of Fusion chip the E-Series and the C-Series - both of which contain two offerings.

The E-350 model has two processing cores running at 1.6 GHz, whilst the E-240 has a single CPU at 1.5 GHz. Both require 18W of power.

The C-Series chips need just half the power of the E-Series models, with the C-50 using two cores at 1.0GHz and the C-30 on one core at 1.2GHz.

All are based on the new x86 CPU core known as "Bobcat" the first new core AMD has built from the ground up since 2003.

"We believe that AMD Fusion processors are, quite simply, the greatest advancement in processing since the introduction of the x86 architecture more than forty years ago," said Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager for the AMD Products Group.

"In one major step, we enable users to experience HD everywhere as well as personal supercomputing capabilities in notebooks that can deliver all-day battery life. It's a new category, a new approach, and opens up exciting new experiences for consumers."

Tami Reller, corporate vice president of Windows marketing at Microsoft, talked up what the AMD technology could do for the Redmond giant's latest operating system and web browser.

"We think the work AMD has done with Fusion to combine x86 CPU architecture and discrete-level graphics performance creates opportunities for Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 9 to deliver real-world customer benefits including accelerated browsing, HD video and 3D gaming," Reller said.

In 2011, AMD said it will launch the mainstream member of the Fusion family, again combining CPU and GPU capabilities. That chip is due for shipping in the first quarter of the year.

A number of desktops, notebooks and netbooks have been launched featuring Fusion chips, with tablets expected in the first quarter of 2011.

AMD Fusion was featured in our look at the top products to look forward to in 2011.

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