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Sid2
 
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2010-05-27 15:17:36
last modified: 2010-05-27 15:35:44

AMD Fusion


The idea of an APU [Accelerated Processing Unit] is to combine an x86 processor with a capable graphics processing unit (GPU) on a single silicon die. AMD argues that simply adding more and more general-purpose x86 cores to a chip will yield diminishing returns since many–though certainly not all–tasks can be handled more efficiently by a highly-parallel processor with lots of little cores such as a GPU.

AMD first APU, code-named Llano, will also be the company’s first processor manufactured at 32nm using high-k and metal gates. Llano will consist of four x86 cores, a DirectX 11 GPU and a DDR3 memory controller. It will be part of Sabine platform for desktop replacements and thin-and-light laptops. AMD will have a separate platform (Brazos) for ultraportables and netbooks with a new x86 design known Bobcat. This is also scheduled to ship in 2011, but AMD hasn’t announced what process node will be used.

AMD isn’t ready to discuss the entire APU; instead it focused on these cores, each of which contains about 35 million transistors and occupies about 10 square millimeters (not counting the 1MB of L2 cache). Of course when you combine four of those with lots of cache, a GPU, memory controller and peripheral circuitry, the final APU will be much larger. AMD has previously said it will have around 1 billion total transistors at 32nm.



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Sid2
 
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2010-05-27 15:20:12


Its all about you with AMD Fusion, committed to changing the way you use computers and setting a new performance standard for the future.
With AMD Fusion, possibilities are endless.


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2010-05-27 15:28:23


AMD reveals Fusion CPU+GPU, to challege Intel in laptops


The "Llano" processor that AMD described today in an ISSCC session is not a CPU, and it's not a GPU—instead, it's a hybrid design that the chipmaker is calling an "accelerated processor unit," or APU. Whatever you call it, it could well give Intel a run for its money in the laptop market, by combining a full DX11-compatible GPU with four out-of-order CPU cores on a single, 32nm processor die.

Details on the highly parallel vector hardware—the "GPU" part of the device—have yet to be disclosed, but AMD is focusing today's revelations on the CPU part of the design. In a nutshell, AMD has taken the "STARS" core that's used in their current 45nm offerings, shrunk it to a new 32nm SOI high-K process, and added new power gating and dynamic power optimization capabilities to it. Each out-of-order core has a bit under 35 million transistors, and a 1MB L2 cache that's not included in that number. AMD is targeting sub-3GHz operation, and a power consumption range of 2.5 to 25 watts.

Intel is infamous for the poor quality of its integrated graphics processors (IGPs), and, while the most recent Intel IGPs are much less embarrassing than their predecessors, it's not clear that the company has the ability or the will to compete with NVIDIA and AMD/ATI in this area. So when it comes to raw performance as a CPU and GPU, I expect Llano to do quite well. But for commercial success as a mobile part, the big question concerns Llano's platform-level power draw, and that will depend on real-world success of the power management innovations that AMD has introduced today.



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Sid2
 
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2010-05-27 15:36:31



Konrad Strafer
 
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2010-05-27 19:21:39

Sounds great Sid2. Is Intel just watching from the sidelines? Or do they have something similar on the way?
Sid2
 
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2010-05-27 20:07:07

Konrad Strafer wrote:
Is Intel just watching from the sidelines? Or do they have something similar on the way?



Intel worked on it's Larrabee GPU for years before shelving the whole project, but it's i3-7 processors feature integrated graphics into the processor package.





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2010-06-02 11:00:48


Advanced Micro Devices gave reporters a first look at its new Fusion processor on Wednesday, but the company kept them from getting too close. An AMD executive didn't want reporters getting too close a look at the wafer during a photo session. After the photos were taken AMD staff hurridly rushed the wafer into hiding.


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2010-06-02 11:24:30


AMD's world first Fusion APU Demonstration at Computex


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2010-09-12 13:26:13


Fusion:
AMD is using the word Fusion to describe an approach to processor design and software development, in its words: “…delivering powerful CPU and GPU capabilities for HD, 3D and data-intensive workloads in a single-die processor called an APU (accelerated processing unit). APUs combine high-performance serial and parallel processing cores with other special-purpose hardware accelerators, enabling breakthroughs in visual computing, security, performance-per-watt and device form factor.”

In short, an APU designed according to AMD’s Fusion initiative will include a CPU and a GPU on a single piece of silicon. The improvements an APU are expected to deliver include: enhanced mainstream gaming performance and accelerated video transcoding, to name a couple of specific examples.


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2011-01-05 11:48:09


CES 2011: AMD Showcases Fusion Processors - PC Perspective

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2011-01-05 12:51:19


AMD Releases First Fusion APUs

A day after Intel unveiled a similar design, Advanced Micro Devices introduced its "Brazos" chips that combine graphics and CPU on the same die to improve performance and lower energy consumption.


Advanced Micro Devices has launched the first of its new class of Fusion processors; one day after rival Intel unveiled a similar chip design that combines graphics and CPU on the same die to improve performance and lower energy consumption.

Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo are the first computer makers to announce product running AMD's new APUs. The HP dm1 and Lenovo's ThinkPad X120e have 11.6-inch displays and weigh 3.5 pounds and 2.9 pounds, respectively. The dm1 gets 9.5 hours of battery life, while the X120e gets more than six hours. Both laptops use APUs from AMD's E-Series. The dm1 is scheduled for release Jan. 9 at a starting price of $450, while the X120e is expected to be available in April for less than $400.

AMD's first APUs are based on a low-power platform codenamed Brazos. The platform includes a new x86 CPU design codenamed Bobcat. Later in the year, AMD plans to unveil in the first half of this year an A-Series of APUs, codenamed Llano. The products, which will have four x86 cores, are scheduled to appear in larger mainstream laptops and desktops in the middle of the year, AMD says.


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2011-01-06 16:36:16


Low power consumption, high power performance... all on a tiny, tiny chip. AMD say the future is here.


JaymesKeller
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2011-01-09 02:07:02

This might sound like an odd question, but what would this mean for BOINC? I'm intrested in where this would take it. Here's what I think:


  • It may need another version to support Fusion, but I feel it would be worth it.
  • Faster workunit processing(?)
  • If it's integrated in laptops, maybe it makes more devices avalible.



Sorry for the strange post, but I do feel this may affect it somehow. After all, it sounds like a good deal to me!

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2011-01-20 15:02:20


AMD Takes Fusion Processors To Embedded Systems


The G-series chips compete with Intel's combo graphics-CPU processors, and are targeted toward Internet-enabled set-top boxes, thin clients, and point-of-sale kiosks.


Advanced Micro Devices is expanding its line of Fusion processors, taking the combination of central processor and discrete graphics on a single die to Internet-enabled set-top boxes, digital signage, and other products using embedded systems.

AMD launched its new G-Series of processors on Wednesday, a couple of weeks after the company introduced the new line of chips at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The first releases were aimed at netbooks, tablet computers, and inexpensive laptops and desktops.

AMD calls its Fusion line accelerated processing units, or APUs. The new series comes with single- or dual-core CPUs, codenamed Bobcat. The chips are 64-bit, have 1 MB of L2 cache and a clock speed of up to 1.6 GHz. They support Microsoft's DirectX 11 graphics technology in Windows, two modules of DDR3-800 and DDR3-1066 system memory, and AMD's third-generation unified video decoder. The single-core processor has a thermal design power of 9 watts, while the dual-core's TDP is 18 watts.


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Sid2
 
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2011-03-09 22:56:10


AMD's Fusion APU code-named Llano handles high definition graphics and video with ease and excellent power efficiency. In this demonstration, The Llano APU goes head-to-head in visually intense workloads against a system based on Intel Core i7-2630QM based on the Sandy Bridge architecture.


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2011-04-23 04:36:52

JaymesKeller wrote:
This might sound like an odd question, but what would this mean for BOINC? I'm intrested in where this would take it. Here's what I think:


  • It may need another version to support Fusion, but I feel it would be worth it.
  • Faster workunit processing(?)
  • If it's integrated in laptops, maybe it makes more devices avalible.



Sorry for the strange post, but I do feel this may affect it somehow. After all, it sounds like a good deal to me!



I'll take a stab at this.

1) I will guess that the GPU will be in the same family as other ATI video cards. I *think* their proprietary GPU processing is called Firestream, which would be the ATI equivalent of Nvidia's CUDA. However, I believe (I have been forced to stop crunching for about a year, so I'm a bit out of touch) that there is a new "open" standard, OpenCL. To answer your question, a new build of BOINC and new applications wold be needed that can support Firestream or the engine ATI uses. AMD/ATI does not have licensing rights to use CUDA, and at the moment BOINC only supports CUDA.

2) Yes, if clients are written to use it. I have actually read that AMD is looking to severely shrink the FPU (Floating Point Unit, or "math co-processor", what does floating point math). The reasoning is that the a programmable GPU is essentially a giant, massively parallel floating-point operator. If there is a programmable GPU on the die, just bounce FPU code to that. (I'm sure it is far, far more complex than saying, "Just use the GPU!&quot If the GPU is expected to be on the die, then use it for computing.

Will it be faster? Because of heat issues, I do not think it is realistic to assume a GPU on the CPU die will be as powerful as what you can put on a video card. The main issue is heat. CPU's are very hot, and will do horrible things because of heat if the fan goes out while the CPU has a high load. High-end GPU's are also hot, require cooling, and eat power. I think we are a ways off to make it practical to put something like an Intel I7 and Nvidia Fermi-capable GPU on the same die, crank up the load like a BOINC'er would, and expect (1) consistent incoming power, and (2) sufficient removal of heat. I think the GPU's we see in Fusion units will be the low to lower-mid range chipsets we normally see embedded on motherboards.

3) Laptops will always be an issue because of heat. Fans do not last forever, and have a lifespan. Using distributed computing clients, the CPU (and perhaps GPU) stays hot, the fans stay rev'ed up, and the fans wear out quickly. Until there is a massive change in technology that severely reduces heat (organic/inorganic hybrid spintronic devices are promising, but my bet is on graphene transistors), laptops will be an issue.
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2011-06-27 21:56:47


AMD Fusion: A8-3500M A-Series Llano APU Review


AMD launched the first volley of their Fusion technology salvo late last year and since then thin-and-light notebook offerings from various major OEMs have come to market. AMD's Brazos platform and specifically the Zacate E-350 processor were obvious successes and the company was able to pull down many strong design wins with manufacturers like Lenovo and HP leading the charge, marketing the product's intrinsic benefits. AMD's E series Fusion processors offer Atom-like power consumption with more robust CPU and GPU performance, at netbook-like prices. To say the product was a success would be a total understatement. In fact, the company claims to have "sold out" of low cost Fusion processors and shipped over 5 million units. No matter how you do the math, it's huge.

Today, AMD is lifting the veil on their next generation mainstream mobile processor, code named Llano. This latest volley by AMD is aimed at hitting Intel right in the mid-section, where the bulk of multimedia capable notebooks are sold. These are higher-end machines, where the likes of Intel's new Sandy Bridge-based Core i5 and Core i7 dual and quad-core processors live.


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2011-07-14 23:40:18


AMD A8-3850 Llano APU First Look Review


Click here http://pcwizkidstechtalk.com/index.php/a83850-review.html for the full review.



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2011-07-20 13:22:59


CES 2011 - AMD Has Some Fun With the FUSION Platform



Futurelooks was able to go behind the scenes to see a few of the applications that AMD has been working on with their new FUSION platform. As you'll see in this video, the small form factor has quite a bit of power behind it and some very fun applications.


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2011-07-28 21:01:57

Sid2
 
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2011-08-21 16:58:06



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2011-08-31 13:01:52





The successor to ‘Llano' - now known as the A-series family of Fusion chips - will be called ‘Trinity'. It will feature a new core architecture called ‘Piledriver', combined with Radeon HD7000 graphics, and make an appearance this year. The next new core architecture - ‘Bulldozer' - is due to be launched soon.


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2011-08-31 18:15:12


With Fusion technology from AMD, the PC industry will be changed forever. AMD is incorporating multi-core CPU (x86) technology, a powerful DirectX®11-capable discrete-level graphics and parallel processing engine onto a single die to create the first Accelerated Processing Unit (APU). Learn how AMD is doing that here.

Read more at: http://www.amd.com/Fusion/



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2011-09-06 13:42:30


AMD has reintroduced the FX brand for PC processors and platforms at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). This is an AMD video that was presented to introduce the power of their FX processor. We can't wait to get our hands on one to test.

For more information on the AMD FX Processor and the 2011 E3 Expo, please visit http://www.LegitReviews.com


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2011-09-08 13:05:57


AMD introduced the AMD Fusion APU A-Series at the EMEA launch event in Berlin on June 15th, 2011. Hear what Leslie Sobon, VP Worldwide Product Marketing at AMD and Joe Macri, Corporate VP and CTO client division from AMD explain to the mainstream consumers and what the A-Series add to their user experience. Eszter Morvay, Research Manager, IDC EMEA Personal Computing Group adds some insight to the PC marketing tendencies. Hear first feedback from the EMEA press and what they say about Vision, HD Brilliant and the long battery life time of the new notebooks based on the AMD!


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