Intel rival chipmaker AMD unveiled further details of the first two "accelerated processor units" (APUs) in the upcoming Fusion range.
AMD director of Fusion marketing John Taylor posted a blog update in which he discussed the two entry-level APUs expected to appear in early 2011. Starting with the 9-watt "Zacate" for netbooks and the 18-watt "Ontario" for ultrathin, mainstream and value notebooks as well as desktops and all-in-one computers.
The new Fusion APUs will incorporate dual core low-power CPUs known as "Bobcat" which AMD claim will provide mainstgream CPU performance in "one-half the die area and a fraction of the power" along with DirectX 11-capable graphics cores derived from the firm’s Radeon parts. The APU will also contain a unified video decoder to accelerator high-definition video playback.
AMD said that it plans to increase production in 2010 with systems appearing early in 2011. Fusion will go up against Intel’s new Sandy Bridge micro architecture which features improved integrated graphic performance to the point that Anandtech declared low-end discreet graphics obsolete.
What’s clear from the upcoming technology from Intel and AMD is that netbooks and mini notebooks look set to offer significantly higher performance than the previous generation, particularly for graphics. Intel presently offers the Atom range of low-power CPUs for netbooks as a seperate class of processor than the firm’s higher priced Core CPUs.
Unless Intel’s Atom has a significant price advantage or AMD’s Fusion APU performance fails to offer significant gains then it looks like AMD will be rather more competetive in the low-power market in 2011 than it has been of late.