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Cheap small notebooks and netbooks, like the HP dm1Z have powered Fusion to massive sales, taking rival Intel Corp. by shock.  (Source: Netbook Live)

AMD's Fusion is a mid-market powerhouse that Intel has no direct answer to in terms of price and performance. Atom is too weak; Sandy Bridge is too expensive.  (Source: Funimation/Toei)
Company sold 5 million chips since the Fusion platform's launch at the start of 2011

As if Intel Corp. (INTC) needed any more bad news after all the grief ARM Holdings plc (ARMH) is giving it, it appears that Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) may be closing the gap in notebook and netbook sales.

Late last month, Microsoft's Bill Koefoed, general manager of investor relations, reported "a 40 percent decline in Netbooks" in Q1 2011.  In Q1 2010, netbooks sold about 10 million units, so this indicates that about 6 million netbooks sold in January, February, and April.  If that pace were sustained, through May around 10 million netbooks would have sold.

AMD's Raymond Dumbeck announced this week that AMD sold 5 million "Fusion" chips in the first five months of the year.  AMD's Fusion chips went into a mix of 10-, 11-, and 12-inch notebooks.  Given that the line between a "netbook" and "ultra-portable PC"/"small PC" lies somewhere in 11-12 inch range it seems like a fair guess that A.MD sold about 3 million "netbooks" -- or about a third of the total market (~10 million units)

That's incredible news for AMD which traditionally had little sales success in the mobile sector and virtually no sales in the netbook sector.

The flip side of the AMD victory is that Intel's ultra-mobile Atom processor appears to have bled a great deal of market share in a very short time.  Atom has suffered as AMD reportedly undercut it with Fusion and delivered a superior on-chip GPU compared to Intel's solution.

Intel's only saving grace has been that the rush to Fusion has taken AMD somewhat as surprised.  Mr. Dumbeck comments that the company is currently sold out of its existing stocks.  That shortage slowed sales from approximately 3.9 million in the first quarter to a mere 1.1 million the next two months.

That brief reprieve for Intel may be short-lived, though.  AMD is reportedly working to increase shipment of existing Fusion processors, as well as widening the channel to include new models.

AMD's current Fusion CPUs fall into the Brazos family, which feature the company's new mobile Bobcat core.  They are split between Ontario, which features lower power consumption and lower clock speeds, and Zacate, which features slightly higher power requirements and clock speeds.  Both Brazos flavors are built on a 40 nm process.

The company is preparing to ship a new type of Fusion "advanced processing unit" (APU) codenamed Llano.  Llano packs a beefier K10 core (found in the Phenom II and Athlon II processor lines), but a die shrink to 32 nm should help to mitigate the power bump, slightly.  The processors are expected to come in dual core and quad core varieties and fall between 25 watts and 100 watts in power consumption.

Intel doesn't exactly have a new processor that can compete at the same market point as Llano.  Atom will be much weaker than Llano.  Sandy Bridge will be much more powerful, but will also be more expensive.  The lack of a mid-market CPU offering from Intel should help Llano see strong sales when it begins shipping early next month.

Brazos has clearly exceeded AMD's wildest expectations.  With support from Dell Inc. (DELL), Sony Corp. (TYO:6758), Acer Inc. (TPE:2353), Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ), and Lenovo Group Ltd. (HKG:0992) AMD's Fusion project is seriously threatening Intel's netbook and notebook processor offerings.

With 28 nm enhanced Bobcat 1-4 core models and 32 nm 2-4 core Bulldozer based models due out next year, AMD clearly hopes to continue to apply the performance pressure on Intel's Atom line and pricing pressure on Intel's Sandy Bridge line.

As with its success in the GPU market, AMD's turn-around owes to the company shifting its focus to the consumer budget and mid-market sectors, versus the traditional enthusiast race that it has waged versus competitors in the GPU and CPU markets.  A company focusing on the majority of consumers, versus a select few?  What a novel thought!  But it sure appears to be working for AMD.

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CPU isn't the interesting part...
By jrs77 on 5/30/2011 8:52:24 PM , Rating: 3
For all those who're still talking about Llano not being able to compete with SB or BD in the CPU-performance, this is of absolutely no interest for the majority of the consumers.
The vocal majority on tech-sites, who want high-performance CPUs etc are the 10% minority of the PC/notebook market.

The part where Llano will totally crush SB is price vs. performance, integrated graphics and GPGPU-performance (video-encoding based on OpenCL).
A Llano chip for less then what intel offers, but with more performance for the everday-tasks of the "normal" users is the road to victory.

Look at the new dualcore ARM-chips... they're basically powerful enough to drive web and media-players and Llano offers the missing power to run the beefier software.
There's no mainstream-software other then games currently, that actually requires more CPU-power then what we had five years ago allready when the Core2Duo was launched.

So yeah, Llano will wipe the floor with SB in the mass-markets.

RE: CPU isn't the interesting part...
By SPOOFE on 5/30/11, Rating: -1
RE: CPU isn't the interesting part...
By Goty on 5/30/2011 10:46:48 PM , Rating: 2
Low margin, but high volume. This segment is where chip makers make all their money.

RE: CPU isn't the interesting part...
By SPOOFE on 5/31/11, Rating: 0
RE: CPU isn't the interesting part...
By dark matter on 5/31/2011 3:48:20 PM , Rating: 2
That's not true at all. The OEM's are not going to buy a poor mid range component just because that company has the best high end.

They think with logic, not emotions.

RE: CPU isn't the interesting part...
By SPOOFE on 5/31/11, Rating: 0
By SPOOFE on 5/31/2011 8:21:31 PM , Rating: 1
*Edit: "lesser problems" to "lesser products". That's what you get when you talk to other people while typing.

By drewidgho5t on 5/31/2011 5:16:19 PM , Rating: 2
"What good is a solid presence in the mass market if you made comparatively little money getting there?"

from the perspective of the investor who wants dividends, that statement carries weight.

BUT- a solid presence in the mass market means you're a player. It means the door can not be shut on your opinions. It means when you spend money on a new technology ex.hypertransport-ditching the southbridge, you can leverage the oem's to support it.

A solid presence in the mass market allows for branding. It means people like our grandparents will purchase AMD inside, for the grandkids. Branding is something exceptopnally valuable to a corp. Intel spent a lot of money on blue guys to achieve branding.

A solid presence in the mass market gives credibility. From there you go upmarket. Right Dell/Alienware? Right Toyota/Lexus Right Bombardier/Lear Jet?

RE: CPU isn't the interesting part...
By corduroygt on 5/30/11, Rating: 0
RE: CPU isn't the interesting part...
By encia on 5/30/2011 11:32:17 PM , Rating: 1
QuickSync is does one thing.

RE: CPU isn't the interesting part...
By p3ngwin on 5/31/2011 12:12:46 AM , Rating: 5
What are these everyday tasks of "normal" users that Llano does better than SB?

current browsers, ALL of them, are GPU accelerated.

that means what 90% of the planet uses, a browser, benefits already from GPU acceleration.

All webpages, especially popular ones like Facebook, Twitter, web-games, Adobe Flash video and animations and AD's etc, WebMail, WEBdocs like Google-Docs, etc

We all use these services, and they are all GPU accelerated right now. Everything you use a browser for is already GPU accelerated , and will be even more so with time.

everything from scrolling web pages, font rendering, CSS acceleration, HTML, SVG, WebM, WebP, WebCL, WebGL, Javascript, etc

nearly everything the browser does is GPU accelerated right now, and that will only continue as services and products from the likes of Google, etc bring us closer to never needing an "out of browser" application.

what else apart from browsing?

well, Microsoft's Office 2010 is also GPU accelerated, so that's one of the most used office suites on the planet included in our GPU usage scenario.

Operating systems already use GPU acceleration too with MS's own Vista and Windows 7 for the UI and mediaplayback, and Apple's OS's also using the GPU for various OS tasks such as it's own UI and other examples such as "CoreImage" as part of the "QuartzCore" framework.

As technologies like OpenCL mature, more basic underlying OS functions will also be able to be GPU accelerated, as already researched in examples such as the Linux Kernel GPU acceleration projects.

so you see, it's not a question of "when" you will need GPU acceleration outside games, it's already here for "normal" people everywhere.

it's simply a matter of "how much" you will be using it.

with today's Browsers and Office suites already providing GPU accelerated benefits for normal people everywhere, it underlines the benefits of having a balanced CPU and GPU hardware solution.

right now, AMD have a balances processor solution that Intel can't match, which is why Intel is struggling to gain expertise in GPU's so it can be part of the "Hybrid processor" revolution that took Intel by surprise.

these AMD "Fusion" processors have a price/performance ratio that Intel will struggle to match. for consumers it means less cost, better performance, and in portables, better battery life.

Intel are a formidable force in the processor industry, and yet it must be embarrassing for them to have the relatively smaller AMD drag Intel into he future with technologies like x32-x64 extensions and hybrid "Fusion" processors.

AMD is surprising everyone with the benefits from purchasing ATI that almost broke the company 5 years ago.

RE: CPU isn't the interesting part...
By corduroygt on 5/31/11, Rating: -1
RE: CPU isn't the interesting part...
By corduroygt on 5/31/2011 2:27:38 AM , Rating: 1
Also, lol @ Javascript being GPU accelerated...go learn about programming and then come back here son.

RE: CPU isn't the interesting part...
By weskurtz0081 on 5/31/2011 11:14:38 AM , Rating: 2
I am curious, do you do any research/reading before you refute other peoples claims and instruct them to "go learn something about programming and then come back here son"?

Then you go on to bash "AMD Fanboys" as if his comments were based in some AMD fantasy land.....

Pfffft, clowns are the worst!

RE: CPU isn't the interesting part...
By corduroygt on 5/31/2011 11:17:05 AM , Rating: 1
Show me the link where JS is GPU accelerated. By its nature it can't be. It's not the type of task that lends itself to GPU acceleration.

RE: CPU isn't the interesting part...
By weskurtz0081 on 5/31/2011 12:19:01 PM , Rating: 1
I could be incorrect, but here's a link.

The first box speaks about it.

Even if I am incorrect in my assumption though, it doesn't make my point any less valid. You came in here, picked ONE part of his MULTI part post and started chastising, calling him a fanboy, and then referring to him as "son". NO ONE has to be a programmer to be able to comment on articles on DailyTech, and if you ARE a programmer, it doesn't mean you should be a dick to others on here or are somehow better than others and should condescend to them.

RE: CPU isn't the interesting part...
By corduroygt on 5/31/2011 12:23:44 PM , Rating: 1
That just enables using openCL with Javascript. The real problem is OpenCL is pretty much useless outside of the scientific/HPC computing realm.

I can say whatever I want to deluded fanboys, who think having an AMD GPU is going to render Facebook pages faster than a Sandy Bridge GPU. SB GPU provides sufficient performance for all mainstream tasks. PC gaming isn't mainstream.

RE: CPU isn't the interesting part...
By weskurtz0081 on 5/31/2011 1:12:37 PM , Rating: 2
But, that post didn't seem deluded or based off of fanboyism to me, but I could be wrong.

I think the cool thing is, AMD is bringing a solution to the market that it VERY affordable and performs (regardless of how much) better than Intel's offering (on the GPU side). The vast majority of notebook owners don't need i5 i7 performance, but they could benefit from better GPU performance.

RE: CPU isn't the interesting part...
By corduroygt on 5/31/11, Rating: 0
RE: CPU isn't the interesting part...
By encia on 5/31/2011 7:17:41 PM , Rating: 1
MS Office 2010 says Hi.

By corduroygt on 5/31/2011 9:00:10 PM , Rating: 1
3D features of MS Office amount to Powerpoint transitions, easily done by the SB GPU, and they're not that essential to begin with, unlike number crunching in Excel, where Intel dominates.

RE: CPU isn't the interesting part...
By encia on 5/31/2011 7:23:58 PM , Rating: 2
Tell me where to get $549 USD Intel Core i5 SB (17 watts) tablet.

By colegf12 on 6/4/2011 3:19:58 AM , Rating: 2
This guy is stupid.

By dotpoz on 5/31/2011 3:54:52 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, it is.

By Final8ty on 5/31/2011 6:38:27 AM , Rating: 3
Firefox 4 isn't GPU accelerated

It certainly is GPU accelerated.

RE: CPU isn't the interesting part...
By FITCamaro on 5/31/2011 12:52:59 PM , Rating: 1
. Not to mention those are such basic tasks that Sandy Bridge can do them just as well.

Any non-gaming and non-engineering niche application has very few GPU demands and a Sandy is more than enough.

Ok but the AMD is cheaper.

Why spend $200+ for a chip when you can spend like $50?

That is the point here. Not that AMD necessarily does things better. It is cheaper, for the vast majority of people's needs the CPU is adequate, and for things that ARE GPU accelerated, the onboard GPU for AMD is more powerful.

By corduroygt on 5/31/2011 4:18:35 PM , Rating: 2
Given preliminary Llano pricing, the difference between the two is more like $50, not $150. Once you get an SSD, the bottleneck becomes the CPU again. There's also energy efficiency, which Intel leads. For $50 more, a faster, more flops/Watt CPU is a better choice.

By Targon on 5/31/2011 8:30:47 AM , Rating: 2
Since the release of Windows Vista, the desktop has used 3D acceleration for the translucent features of Aero. Unless you turn off Aero, just the normal performance on the desktop, moving icons/windows around, etc is affected by GPU performance.

Yes, this may seem minor to you, but when I move things around on the screen, I expect something that doesn't look like it has been obviously toned down due to a poor GPU.

Now, there is another aspect here that you fail to grasp, and that is what the BOTTOM range of systems are like. Software development of any kind has to have what the majority of customers will have in their computers. For ages, games on the PC have been limited due to Intel graphics being sub-standard, yet having a LARGE percentage of the overall installed computer base. If EVERY system had either a NVIDIA or AMD/ATI graphics chip/chipset in them, the base graphics levels will improve, and programs will become appropriately better in the future.

Now, when you say CPU performance is slower, but not so slow that it isn't acceptable. An Athlon 2 640 quad-core CPU may not be a GREAT performer for example, but it's still quad-core and does have a decent performance for the price. If Llano as a quad-core becomes popular at a low price, it will help make quad-core the STANDARD for low-cost systems, and help to drive dual-core down into the realm of the ultra-cheap stuff sold for $300 or even below. Would quad-core for EVERYONE be a positive enough result of Llano?

It's very simple
By Beenthere on 5/30/2011 3:25:29 PM , Rating: 3
As long as AMD continues to offer what consumers desire they will do just fine. No one "needs" any Intel product. People buy what makes them happy.

RE: It's very simple
By kensiko on 5/30/2011 3:32:22 PM , Rating: 2
That's right.

I'm happy that AMD is at least back in business in the netbook market. Can't wait to see Bulldozer.

RE: It's very simple
By Da W on 5/30/2011 3:50:50 PM , Rating: 2
We'll be disapointed by bulldozer. It will just match Sandy bridge, not surpass it, then Intel will move ahead with ivy bridge. Rumors are global foundries can't push decent yields and bulldozer will suffer from lower than expected clock speed.

However, i can't wait to have a 14", 500$ Llano laptop with good enough graphics to play games. I think this market is underestmated, it is HUGE. you don't need killer CPU power anymore, but you never have enough GPU power.

Looking for a Zacate E-350 tablet too! So far acer iconia with the C-50 is the best option, still not good enough for me.

RE: It's very simple
By 4745454b on 5/30/2011 4:35:07 PM , Rating: 2
We'll be disapointed by bulldozer. It will just match Sandy bridge, not surpass it, then Intel will move ahead with ivy bridge. Rumors are global foundries can't push decent yields and bulldozer will suffer from lower than expected clock speed.

Not from the rumors I've heard. I'm not sure BD will even match SB. First core series maybe. I've heard the yield/production issues, that's probably true. I haven't heard anything about low clocks though. As a matter of fact because BD is rumored to be around the speed of the first core series, they will need higher clocks to compete with SB/IB. I've heard test chips can hit ~4GHz with ease, 4.5GHz for some. I doubt clocks will be an issue.

I do agree with what else you wrote. I prefer the 15" screens myself, but we seem to finally be reaching the age of gaming on all notebooks.

RE: It's very simple
By mvs on 5/31/2011 3:29:51 AM , Rating: 2
I've heard test chips can hit ~4GHz with ease, 4.5GHz for some. I doubt clocks will be an issue.
AMD has traditionally had trouble with clock speed. I hated when their naming convention with the Athlon's. An Athlon 64 X2 "6000+" had a clock of 3.1GHz. They called it a "6000+" for marketing reasons. Dumb.

Will be gratefully surprised if clocks aren't an issue. Ain't holding my breath though.

RE: It's very simple
By Targon on 5/31/2011 8:37:11 AM , Rating: 2
That naming convention came from the days of the Pentium 4, when people would see "2.4GHz" from a Pentium 4, and assume that it was faster than a comparable AMD processor that was as fast overall, but had a lower clock speed. The problem was that as time went on, the rating system broke down and AMD eventually dropped it since Intel was no longer pushing clock speed as the way to measure performance.

RE: It's very simple
By adiposity on 5/31/2011 1:46:09 PM , Rating: 2
The problem was that as time went on, the rating system broke down and AMD eventually dropped it since Intel was no longer pushing clock speed as the way to measure performance.

No, the problem was that as time went on, AMD became less and less competitive, but they didn't accurately reflect this in their "performance" model numbers. As they fell further behind, they resorted more to gaming these model numbers, since they were under no obligation to accurately measure their comparative performance.

They lost a lot of credibility during that time. Eventually they had to drop the program because

a). It didn't reflect performance
b). It made them seem desperate.

RE: It's very simple
By 4745454b on 5/31/2011 9:11:00 PM , Rating: 2
New article on the front page.

Current B1 stepping parts are easily hitting 3.8GHz which is what the high end SKU may actually ship at (with turbo support up to 4.2GHz).

My pure guess, B1 can do it, but at a very high Vcore. B2 will probably milk a bit more out of it, but will do so at a lower voltage. AMD is holding off as they don't want to release a bunch of 140W parts again.

RE: It's very simple
By mvs on 6/1/2011 5:54:26 AM , Rating: 2
Interesting. BD built on 32nm SOI process with HKMG (finally). I wonder if GF has new mgt. pushing them to improve their process technology. Almost seems out of character 8)

There may be light at the end of the tunnel after-all. Thanks for the link.

RE: It's very simple
By Da W on 5/31/2011 4:07:10 PM , Rating: 2
I've seen screenshot of 4,5 Ghz bulldozer, but was it only a one-core turbo?
Logically when AMD had the same yield issues with its Phenom 1, clock speeds were too low. Now may be the bulldozer architecture performs a little less per clock so it can crank up clock speed higher, a la pentium 4. So i should say clock speed will not be as high as they should be to compete with Intel.

That's always been intel success: process. Their 32 nm is over a year old and very mature, the first SB sample that came out clocked high like crazy.

RE: It's very simple
By Jeffk464 on 5/30/2011 4:58:58 PM , Rating: 2
bump 14" to 15.6" and I agree with you.

RE: It's very simple
By Jeffk464 on 5/30/2011 4:59:58 PM , Rating: 1
the e350 makes to much heat for a tablet.

RE: It's very simple
By StevoLincolnite on 5/30/2011 7:17:56 PM , Rating: 2
I have an Intel Atom convertible netbook/tablet and heat wise it's fine, the E-350 wouldn't be to much warmer than that.
Just don't expect paper thin form factors.

Plus you still got the C-50 chip which can drop into a tablet.

RE: It's very simple
By pugster on 5/31/2011 11:30:51 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. Right now Intel just don't have a niche product between an intel atom and low end intel pentium cpus. So AMD was able to sell these e350's like hotcakes. Intel could've sold their cpu's at a lower price than AMD and complete break them but they don't want to because they will be accused of monopoly. Besides, the profit margins of these apu's are not much anyways compared with intel sandy bridge cpus. As long as Intel has a chokehold on the higher end cpu's and allow amd to make money on the mid/lower tier cpus, both companies are happy.

RE: It's very simple
By stimudent on 5/30/2011 11:15:16 PM , Rating: 4
Intel will probably go to its famous Book of Ethics Violations to make sure that there are road blocks in the marketplace for AMD until it can come up with an answer.

By Taft12 on 5/30/2011 4:18:54 PM , Rating: 2
For desktop, Intel does have some much cheaper Pentium-branded CPUs making their way into the channel currently with pricing in line with AMD Athlon II CPUs

here's one

This combined with an H61 board gives you a Sandy Bridge system as cheap as an AMD. I have yet to see these reviewed to see how they compare.

You're still left with Intel graphics, so Llano should (nay, will) smack this around for anything remotely graphic-related, including Flash videos.

Bravo again to AMD for the Fusion products, I am very happy to hear they are a success in the market. They deserve to be.

By p3ngwin on 5/31/2011 12:26:15 AM , Rating: 2
see my post above about why nearly everything most people use a PC for is already GPU accelerated, not just "Flash video"

By corduroygt on 5/31/2011 12:20:09 PM , Rating: 2
Intel Sandy Bridge GPU's accelerate everything just as well as AMD GPU's, except for games. QuickSync is actually better for encoding video than any other solution as well.

By FITCamaro on 5/31/2011 12:55:29 PM , Rating: 3
Even if its better, if no one uses it, it really doesn't matter.

By Aloonatic on 5/30/2011 3:53:05 PM , Rating: 2
I tried one of the HP Fusion notebooks the other day, and it looked like the one in the shot anyway, and the track pad with the buttons all in one was a nightmare.

Hopefully plenty more alternatives will come through. My current Acer 1410 (Celeron M 753) + Intel 4500 MHD is OK, but sometimes just falls short.

The same case + Fusion + cheap & small SSD ( would be nice, these things aren't really a device for storage anyway, so < 100GB is not an issue, for me anyway) or any drive really could be a real winner.

By Beenthere on 5/30/2011 6:55:15 PM , Rating: 2
AMD has a plethora of excellent APUs coming for tablets, netbooks, laptops and desktop along with Bulldozer so I think there will be a lot of happy campers, except for Intel of course. For consumers this is great and I am looking at two new AMD purchases ASAP.

Glaring inaccuracies
By Shadowmaster625 on 6/2/2011 10:18:05 AM , Rating: 2
95% of the customer's needs are met with an i3-2100 cpu or below. The i3-2100 costs $130 and has a passmark rating of 3832. The AMD Phenom II X4 955 costs just $115 and has a passmark rating of 3952. The i3 in a complete system will have about 20% lower power consumption at the wall socket, and slightly faster graphics. But these two chips are very very close in real world price and performance. And again this is more than what 95% of computer users want or need. So it is grossly inaccurate to say that intel is greatly outperforming AMD. With llano, AMD will be completely crushing intel in graphics, while maintaining near parity with cpu performance, in the meat of the desktop and notebook markets.

AMD E-350
By frozentundra123456 on 6/4/2011 4:53:45 PM , Rating: 2
I recently saw one of these dm1z notebooks/netbooks/ in
Best Buy,and it was quite attractive and had a decent price. I would consider buying one but maybe I should get a smart phone instead, or maybe a tablet or maybe wait for Llano if it ever appears. Wow this is too complicated!!

Seriously, it was a quite attractive package, definitely an improvement over netbooks which cost nearly as much. I just wish that the CPU was a bit faster.

And I have to say that there is a lot of pro-AMD sentiment in this thread. I would love to support AMD, but really, they have to start getting their chips out on time and be more competitive in the CPU area. Llano may have much improved graphics,but is an ancient CPU architecture. And all the secrecy/delays around Bulldozer definitely reminds me of the Phenom I days when the product was not really competitive.

Loving my E350
By jharper12 on 6/5/2011 8:50:40 PM , Rating: 1
I bought a Lenovo X120e as soon as they came out. Got a heck of a deal on it, right at $400 with Windows 7 pro, bluetooth, etc. It handles everything and anything I need it to handle. Loving HDMI out, and the battery life is just right... I've dropped it to the single percentiles, but I've never run out of battery life yet.

Overall, these APUs are great for most users. Honestly, if AMD can keep this up, my next portable will be AMD as well. Here's what I'd really love to see though: Quad core with slightly better CPU performance, and a discrete ATI card that can operate in hybrid crossfire mode. I want this in a Zacate like TDP though, so no, I'm not asking for Llano.

That's what I'd like to buy next year... that way I can game on the go as well, at the expense of a little battery life.

By ncage on 5/30/11, Rating: -1
RE: Nvidia
By kensiko on 5/30/2011 4:08:33 PM , Rating: 3
Sure it would help Intel, but it would kill AMD !!!

No competition, no low prices for us, consumers. This must not happen !

RE: Nvidia
By YashBudini on 5/30/11, Rating: 0
RE: Nvidia
By YashBudini on 5/30/11, Rating: 0
RE: Nvidia
By SPOOFE on 5/30/11, Rating: -1
RE: Nvidia
By Targon on 5/30/2011 10:05:02 PM , Rating: 5
This is also a false conclusion. The difficulty in designing a CPU that is fairly competitive is so high, it would be virtually impossible for a new player to enter that particular market. The key is all in the compatibility that people demand, so that existing software will work on the new chip.

Basically, if AMD, which has a TON of experience in this area, can't compete, we will NOT see a competitor enter the market. Most start-up companies come in with millions to spend on the initial R&D, compared with the $100 BILLION that would be needed to even make an attempt at getting into the x86 market. Chip fabrication ability is where AMD has had the greatest difficulty, since a 32nm version of the Phenom 2 would have allowed AMD to release a faster chip before now, and going from 32nm down to 22nm is a huge increase in fab complexity. Yes, AMD split off the fab business, but who do you think is going to make processors for AMD, some other company that also can't compete with Intel?

RE: Nvidia
By SPOOFE on 5/30/11, Rating: -1
RE: Nvidia
By p3ngwin on 5/31/2011 12:45:14 AM , Rating: 2
Basically, if AMD, which has a TON of experience in this area, can't compete, we will NOT see a competitor enter the market

also a false conclusion.

An example would be Nvidia and their recent entry into the ARM processor market.

Nvidia had zero experience with ARM architectures, yet since Nvidia's first ARM chips in 2009 they have been first with dual-core ARM chips and even first with quad-core.

They beat all other ARM licensees who have had as much as a decade each head-start on Nvidia. Qualcomm is one of the most successful ARM licensees, with their ARM chips in the majority of most smart/phones for over a decade.

Nvidia beat them to multicore within 2 years of starting from scratch. then did it again with quad-core. Nvidia is demonstrating working silicone of it's Kal-El quad-core ARM-based processors at this year's COMPUTEX (currently running), yet where are the similar chips from the other ARM licensees ?

Nvidia is also aggressively (as is their style) perusing their project "Denver". an ARM based processor for more powerful markets such as laptops, desktops and even servers. no other ARM licensee is even thinking of putting ARM in those markets.

If AMD were to die tomorrow, somebody would happily step in and buy up the juicy patents and enter the processor market, or infuse an existing processor company with even more resources.

RE: Nvidia
By mvs on 5/31/2011 4:01:46 AM , Rating: 2
I disagree. Examine some of the market parallels. Look at how many commercial airplane manufacturers there are. Or how many railroad locomotive manufacturers. Or how many space launch vehicles. Intel vs. AMD is fairly unique.
Nvidia had zero experience with ARM architectures
Nvidia didn't just start yesterday. Check out
posted Feb. 11, 2008 it talks about the APX 2500. Basically the start of the Tegra line.

There is also a difference between being an ARM licensee and having an x86 license [which doesn't exist, AMD being the lone exception].

If you read
the exclusivity the x86 market has enjoyed appears to be coming to an end. Windows 8 will run on other architectures w/ Microsoft's blessing and support.
If AMD were to die tomorrow, somebody would happily step in and buy up the juicy patents
yeah, even somebody like Intel.

RE: Nvidia
By encia on 5/31/2011 7:30:36 PM , Rating: 2
If you read

"Update for Windows 7 Server Beta for Itanium-based Systems"

Since Windows NT Itanium line is EOL, ARM version can replace this non-X86 Windows NT line.

RE: Nvidia
By justjc on 5/31/2011 3:43:10 PM , Rating: 2
Why would it kill AMD?

Intel and Nvidia have had cross licensing deals, since 2004, giving Intel access to all relevant patents and licenses. If they had to merge with Nvidia it would primarily result in a clash of cultures that will cost Intel an enormous amount of losses in both resources, valued employees and lost research. If anything AMD would probably gain from Intel making such a move.

RE: Nvidia
By YashBudini on 5/30/2011 4:32:45 PM , Rating: 4
Intel REALLY needs to aquire Nvidia (assuming it will be OK'd by the SEC).

That's really funny. When was the last time any merger was voted down in a corporatocracy?

The SEC rubberstamps everything, the same way the FCC rubberstamps everything Rupert Murdoch and Clear Channel ask for. They are no longer regulators, they merely collect fees.

Spineless bastards.

RE: Nvidia
By Jeffk464 on 5/30/2011 4:55:22 PM , Rating: 1
Isn't nvidia a foreign company? I don't think they give a flying fart what our congress does.

RE: Nvidia
By OAKside24 on 5/30/2011 5:54:54 PM , Rating: 2
"Nvidia is an American global technology company ... based in Santa Clara, California." ( I wasn't sure, either.

RE: Nvidia
By YashBudini on 5/30/2011 6:41:59 PM , Rating: 3
Global means, "We'll screw any country, anytime, even our home base. We're omnivores, you can bet on it."

RE: Nvidia
By Targon on 5/31/2011 8:43:15 AM , Rating: 2
This is a very different situation than most. There are only TWO players in the CPU industry right now, and there ARE three major players in the graphics industry. No regulator would be stupid enough to allow going from three players down to two in the graphics market, but they would allow going from four to three.

RE: Nvidia
By jabber on 5/30/2011 4:35:17 PM , Rating: 2
Isnt Tegra just a rebadged ARM chip? Cant see that helping Intel.

The fact is 90% of the worlds computing market no longer needs a CPU costing much over $100.

Intel doesnt have much of value in that space. They are slowly becoming irrelevant to most of the market. It's only their mass marketing that keeps them going really.

If AMD started doing a few TV spots it would really put the pressure on.

RE: Nvidia
By Jeffk464 on 5/30/2011 4:57:26 PM , Rating: 2
Yup,I think cpu power will take a backseat to apu power. Most people browse the web, do productivity, and play multimedia.

RE: Nvidia
By SPOOFE on 5/31/2011 1:16:13 AM , Rating: 2
I think we're just going to see a greater and greater divide between "good enough" chips and "powerhouse" chips. We see the early aspects of this trend; I just think "high end" and "low end" are going to wind up with a fairly large gap between them.

RE: Nvidia
By Targon on 5/31/2011 9:02:53 AM , Rating: 2
I disagree here, there will always be people who want something a bit more than the "basic" system, without going up into the very high end. This is why you can buy all these different processors at different speeds, core counts, etc.

Some people will want a six core processor, even now, because they do so many things at once and leave all of their applications open ALL the time. Others will be satisfied with a quad-core processor. EVERYONE will see the advantage of quad-core over dual-core, but not everyone wants to spend a LOT more.

On the AMD front, there will be a fairly small group that won't go with a APU and instead will want a pure CPU with discrete video card, and that is the 10 percent crowd. Now, that is the key to what AMD is doing.

Right now, you have AMD selling CPU and chipsets. If AMD moves the GPU from the chipset to the CPU and adjusts the costs, the CPU+chipset cost may end up being the same, but it also encourages allowing people to upgrade the CPU more often. How many of us have just done a CPU or video card swap without wanting to replace the motherboard? If replacing the CPU also replaced and upgraded the graphics, that could be seen as something more people are willing to do, in the same way that swapping a video card is seen as an acceptable thing today.

There really are four tiers of CPUs out there, the extreme high end, the enthusiast, the mid-range, and then the low end. AMD has pretty much dropped out of the top two tiers on the CPU front due to not having been able to move to a 32nm process soon enough. So, for your mid-range CPU and low end, you have a LOT of room for differences. Dual-core vs. quad, and we will probably see hex-core entering that mid-range in the next year. Do you want a 3.8GHz quad-core, or a 2.8GHz dual-core? We WILL see more of a CPU performance difference between the CPU-only chips/systems and the APU market, and that is where things will get very interesting going forward.

With AMD pushing the APU, the overall performance between AMD and Intel will be a bit more balanced(with AMD having the better graphics and Intel POSSIBLY having the better CPU at the same price). As the complexity of the GPU side goes up, heat and expertise will come into play, and AMD may be able to increase performance a bit faster than Intel. This may hit Intel hard enough to change its approach, and their focus on the CPU may decrease to the point where AMD can stay competitive.

Then again, if Intel is found to be doing more anti-competitive stuff, they may be forced to divide up the company to split off its fab capabilities, which would really help level the playing field. If Intel didn't have the fab development advantage it does, it might not be nearly as far ahead at this point.

RE: Nvidia
By Jeffk464 on 5/30/2011 4:49:12 PM , Rating: 4
AMD has to prove they can get llano to the market first. This is years in the making.

RE: Nvidia
By wiak on 5/30/2011 9:08:21 PM , Rating: 2
amd llano dosnt need to come to market first
it will beat intel anyway mainly due to the ATI discrete derivered graphics in LIano in its price range

and for nvidia, amd fusion has x86, tegra does not

RE: Nvidia
By SPOOFE on 5/30/2011 10:29:24 PM , Rating: 2
it will beat intel anyway mainly due to the ATI discrete derivered graphics in LIano

Yay Llano! Now I'm getting 12 FPS in modern games instead of 9! Weeeee!

RE: Nvidia
By Philippine Mango on 5/30/2011 11:10:52 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think you're giving Fusion graphics enough credit.. They're significantly better than intel graphics and in your scenario it'd be more like 4fps with intel and 16fps with the AMD Fusion.

RE: Nvidia
By encia on 5/30/2011 11:29:57 PM , Rating: 2
400 stream processor Llano runs Aliens Vs Predator DX11 just fine.

RE: Nvidia
By SPOOFE on 5/31/2011 1:23:21 AM , Rating: 2
Does it? I did a quick search and found several sites ASSERTING that it does, but no actual evidence and no detail about settings other than "DX11 features".

RE: Nvidia
By encia on 5/31/2011 8:50:46 AM , Rating: 2
RE: Nvidia
By encia on 5/31/2011 8:53:30 AM , Rating: 2
"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen

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