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AMD's 18 W dual-core Zacate packs two Bobcat Cores and a dedicate on-chip GPU die capable of handling gaming and 1080p video.  (Source: Slashgear)

NVIDIA recently announced a dual-core version of its ARM Tegra APU. NVIDIA was the first to release an APU, but the ARM core aboard Tegra is incompatible with Windows 7.  (Source: Reuters)
Look out AMD, you aren't the only incoming SoC solution anymore

 

AMD looks to soon capitalize on its success as the new sales king of the GPU market, by launching in early 2011 its "Fusion" products, which puts a GPU and CPU together on a single die.

At the IFA 2010 trade show in Germany this week, AMD showed off an 18W TDP Fusion system-on-a-chip (SOC) solution.  The chip combines dual 
Bobcat cores with AMD graphics, in what AMD calls an Accelerated Processing Unit (APU).  

The product is codenamed "Zacate" and looks like it could make a splash on the notebook scene thanks to its ability to decode 1080p video and play modern video games (all on a lean power budget).  Such a processor would be particularly desirable to ultra-portable designs.

Unfortunately for AMD it isn't the only one cooking up an APU.  
Bloomberg is reporting that Intel Chief Executive Officer Paul Otellini will show off his own company's take on a GPU+CPU SOC at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco next week.

The announcement creates in an interestingly competitive scenario -- AMD arguably has more GPU experience and the better graphics hardware technology.  But Intel has had superior CPU processing per dollar for some time now.  

John Taylor, a spokesman for the Sunnyvale, California-based AMD is quick to note his company's graphics edge, stating, "There are decades of research and design that goes into our discrete graphics.  Intel has yet to deliver a product that has discrete-level performance. Right now, it’s just claims."

Of course those are bold words coming from a company that has experienced plenty of delays of its own in the past.

Intel is reportedly confident that it can outcompete AMD in terms of price.  But its integrated graphics processors thus far have been far from stellar performers, to say the least.  So who will pull off the APU upset?  The CPU champion, or the GPU grandmaster?  The financial stakes are high and the market is wide open; customers can eagerly await a hard fought battle and the release of some exciting new options in 2011.

 



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RE: AMD for the win... and easily.
By omnicronx on 9/10/2010 3:16:03 PM , Rating: 5
Intel is just trying to take some wind out of the sales of AMD.. Anyone who knows about Intel's previous failed dedicated offerings know they have no idea what it takes to get a good GPU on the market.

Considering it was only a little over a year ago that Intel gave up on X86 GPU technology, I find it hard to believe that this upcomming product is anything but a rushed mishmash product to try and compete with AMD.

Intel has never released a good GPU of any kind, why on earth should we believe that their combined offering would be any different? Especially on such a short timeline?


RE: AMD for the win... and easily.
By Reclaimer77 on 9/10/10, Rating: -1
RE: AMD for the win... and easily.
By omnicronx on 9/10/2010 3:51:17 PM , Rating: 5
Whats your point?

AMD bought ATI and thus absorbed the products and their knowledge of said products.. AMD has successfully been able to bring ATI back to profitability and have release chips that were hardly on the horizon pre acquisition. There is no comparison between the two companies when it comes to dedicated GPU expertise. Please don't try and claim otherwise..

Intel has failed more than once in bringing a dedicated GPU to the market. If they can't get to the dedicated GPU market with baby steps, I just don't believe for a second that the GPU portion of these chips will be comparable to bobcat..

My guess, the GPU portion of these chips will be sub par, and as usual Intel will shine with the CPU portion.


RE: AMD for the win... and easily.
By Reclaimer77 on 9/10/10, Rating: -1
RE: AMD for the win... and easily.
By Amiga500 on 9/10/2010 4:19:42 PM , Rating: 5
He didn't claim anything like that.

You could do with reading what he actually wrote, rather than what you wanted him to write.


RE: AMD for the win... and easily.
By omnicronx on 9/10/2010 4:31:07 PM , Rating: 5
Please explain to me where I ever implied that ATI has nothing to do with AMD's superior GPU's. In fact I was pretty much claiming the exact opposite..

I was going against your stupid claim that AMD does not have said expertise, regardless of how it was gained.

FYI: You are calling out the wrong person. I lived quite near and now work right beside the ATI building (and now the AMD building) in Markham Ontario. I've been an ATI fan before most people knew whom ATI was. As I result I find it funny you are calling me out for not giving ATI credit where it is due..

That said, I'm still not exclusive to any brand. I have Intel and AMD's machines, I also have AMD and Nvidia cards. Its based on my needs not favoritism ;)


RE: AMD for the win... and easily.
By Reclaimer77 on 9/10/10, Rating: -1
RE: AMD for the win... and easily.
By SPOOFE on 9/10/2010 6:13:19 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
I never said that at all.

Yes, you did.
"...they [Intel] have no idea what it takes to get a good GPU on the market."
Neither does AMD either.
You flat out stated AMD does not have the expertise. Don't pretend you didn't just because you butchered proper sentence structure. :D


By icanhascpu on 9/18/2010 5:04:35 AM , Rating: 2
You should probably stop drinking before posting here.

Hello!


RE: AMD for the win... and easily.
By EricMartello on 9/10/2010 7:12:40 PM , Rating: 2
To date, Intel has utterly failed on the GPU front. I don't really understand how a company with the resources of Intel could fail to produce a compelling GPU that is competitive with ATI or NVIDIA, but my guess is corporate politics and maybe a not so bad desire to keep the focus on CPUs.

AMD the company merged with ATI to gain the IP of ATI, thereby enabling them to become competitive in the GPU market. That's what companies do...but reclaimer is not wrong in his statement, he is correct in saying that AMD themselves did not have the expertise to produce a GPU.

It's a fair statement of fact - because if ATI was unwilling to allow AMD to buy them out, AMD would be worse off than Intel is now with GPUs...and as we all know, AMD is not exactly shining in the CPU department either.

The point being that merging with a company to gain IP is a valid business tactic but it's not to be confused with genuine innovation. AMD made a good choice to buy out ATI, but ATI did all the legwork and laid in the technical foundation for powerful GPUs with their Radeon brand...simply because the tech is marketed under AMD's banner does not warrant giving credit to AMD for the technical aspects of the product. AMD made a good business move but there is no props for technical innovation due.


RE: AMD for the win... and easily.
By Solandri on 9/10/2010 7:46:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
To date, Intel has utterly failed on the GPU front.

Intel has utterly failed on the dedicated GPU front. In terms of actual video chipset units sold, Intel is the leader. Their integrated graphics solutions ship more units than ATI and nVidia combined. I agree with you that Intel has failed laughably at the mid- and high-end GPU market. But at the low end where low cost, value, and low power draw are priorities, Intel is king.
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2367210,00.as...

I really wish AMD and nVidia would make more than a token effort to compete in this low-end low-power market. I suspect with their expertise they could make a much better-performing integrated video card than Intel with the same power consumption. Which I suppose is what this move by AMD is all about - challenging Intel's dominance of the integrated video chipset market.

quote:
AMD made a good choice to buy out ATI, but ATI did all the legwork and laid in the technical foundation for powerful GPUs with their Radeon brand...simply because the tech is marketed under AMD's banner does not warrant giving credit to AMD for the technical aspects of the product. AMD made a good business move but there is no props for technical innovation due.

ATI and AMD are one and the same now. It's pointless trying to make an artificial distinction between them because they are the same entity now. Intel is not trying to compete with AMD and ATI separately. They are trying to compete with the new AMD which bought ATI.


By EricMartello on 9/11/2010 3:58:34 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Intel has utterly failed on the dedicated GPU front. In terms of actual video chipset units sold, Intel is the leader. Their integrated graphics solutions ship more units than ATI and nVidia combined. I agree with you that Intel has failed laughably at the mid- and high-end GPU market. But at the low end where low cost, value, and low power draw are priorities, Intel is king. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2367210,00.as...


I don't think Intel even offers a discrete GPU anymore after their "XTREME GRAPHICS 3D" or whatever it was got put to shame by Matrox back in the day. What I mean by failed is not in terms of sales, rather performance and technology. Yes, you'll find Intel's garbage video chipsets in just about every integrated solution out there - it works, but most people are unaware of just how poorly it performs. I'd rather have a low end Radeon or Geforce any day over Intel's integrated graphics.

quote:
I really wish AMD and nVidia would make more than a token effort to compete in this low-end low-power market. I suspect with their expertise they could make a much better-performing integrated video card than Intel with the same power consumption. Which I suppose is what this move by AMD is all about - challenging Intel's dominance of the integrated video chipset market.


There are a handful of motherboards with AMD and NVIDIA graphics chipsets embedded. I have one with an integrated NVIDIA 9400 which is far better than whatever Intel has. Perhaps in a laptop where battery life is an issue, intel may have an advantage, but now there is "optimus" or whatever from Nvidia that lets you use intel for 2D and a discrete Nvidia GPU for gaming.

Quite frankly I don't know why the don't just have the GPU go into a standby state when no 3D is being used, and have 2D processed by a secondary processor. That would eliminate excessive power draw during idle, and for desktops, could reduce case temps and noise.


By FITCamaro on 9/10/2010 8:14:01 PM , Rating: 4
AMD acquired ATI so they had a complete solution. OEMs weren't using them largely because they did not have everything from the CPU to motherboard to GPU. Thats what OEMs want. No worries about compatibility. So with ATI to make their GPUs and help them with their chipsets, they had that.


RE: AMD for the win... and easily.
By Amiga500 on 9/10/2010 4:18:42 PM , Rating: 3
Uhhh - and your point is?!?!

Q: Can AMD utilise the knowledge of the leading GPU designers in their fusion CPU/GPUs?

A: Yes

Q: Can Intel utilise the knowledge of even a competent GPU design team into their fusion CPU/GPUs?

A: No


RE: AMD for the win... and easily.
By wut on 9/10/2010 8:15:01 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Q: Can Intel utilise the knowledge of even a competent GPU design team into their fusion CPU/GPUs?


Oh yes it can. Didn't you read Anand's own Sandy Bridge benchmarks? Its on-die graphics is on par with Radeon HD5450.


RE: AMD for the win... and easily.
By ekv on 9/11/2010 1:45:38 AM , Rating: 2
You know, you're right. I did read that the other day. SB does put a fair amount of pressure on AMD.

Fortunately, Hector RUInZ is no longer at the helm and AMD has been performing consistently, if not above average. I don't think ATI graphics are to worry about. The CPU side of the equation though ... I think the gas main has been turned off and the fire is out, as it were, but now they have some catching up to do.

The competition will be interesting. Keep your eye on the memory bandwidth numbers, and whether AMD can ever get more/larger cache on-chip.


RE: AMD for the win... and easily.
By Amiga500 on 9/11/2010 5:16:09 AM , Rating: 2
But to put that into perspective, Ontario is supposed to have performance around that of a 5450 - and Ontario is far, far, far smaller than Sandy Bridge.

Llano on the other hand, supposedly has performance in the 5670-5750 bracket! Thus, as usual, Intel are about 2 to 3x slower than the market leader.


RE: AMD for the win... and easily.
By theapparition on 9/11/2010 12:32:22 PM , Rating: 1
As enthusiasts, we all know that Intel doesn't have a competitive high end graphics processor.

But in no way try to translate that into an Intel failure.

I have no doubt, that if Intel's business case determined that they needed a high end GPU, they'd either develope a competitve offering or purchase one (nVidia?). But as of now, looking at Intels current market position and revenues, they seem to think there is no need. With good reason.

For most consumer level computers, there is absolutely no need for faster graphics.....or even faster CPU's. Do you really need more than 1997 technology to browse the web, run Word and Excel or play solitare esque games?

Of course power users and enthusiasts like ourselves will absolutely appreciate advances, but the average consumer won't. Demographics have switched and now it's all about mobile computing.

Intel is still the largest provider of GPU's on the planet. Yes, they all suck, but they don't suck just enough for the majority to be content. Not only that, but by offering extreamly low cost and high profit chipsets, Intel has not only fortified it's marketshare, but deprived competitors potential sales.

Does everyone seem to think that the largest and most successful chip manufacturer in history couldn't make a world class GPU if need be? It's ok to play brand favorites, just don't be naive about it.


RE: AMD for the win... and easily.
By inighthawki on 9/11/2010 3:15:37 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Does everyone seem to think that the largest and most successful chip manufacturer in history couldn't make a world class GPU if need be? It's ok to play brand favorites, just don't be naive about it.


I think that is mostly a result of "Larabee" - a disaster of an attempt at a GPU, but this doesnt necessarily mean it will translate to no ability to make a high end gpu, just a failure at making a high end x86-based gpu


By MGSsancho on 9/12/2010 3:01:32 AM , Rating: 2
Intel still has them for development but I do not think they care that much. Intel goes after the most profitable portions of markets. Intel will always have budget, mainstream and enthusiast chipsets. Even in their integrated/budget offerings they still give you enough PCI-E lanes for a discrete add-on card. Maybe they just want to have a platform that even at entry level you can have fully hardware accelerated video/youtube. I remember several years ago you almost needed at least a geforce 2 if you wanted to watched a dvd or a downloaded file. With AMD's upcoming and Intel's upcoming offerings, every system will have full hardware accelerated video. this means even a cheap system can me formatted to me a multimedia machine with out hunting down a mobo and parts to get it all working. All we would need to do is look for the cheapest mobo in the form factor we want.

Intel tried very hard and very long for a dedicated video card, but it wasn't good enough to compete with their green and red rivals to run crysis. Team blue's green's and red's budgets were good enough for baseline/main H264 profile playback and for HD youtube, all of their new products will be good enough for High Profile settings for H264 (bluray.)

I do not see why we are having a pissing war. Only people buying dedicated graphics cards will be gamers, animators, artist (built-in chips dont have many options for color correction. maybe the new ones will,) developers and those who run applications that use cuda/opencl/gnugpu applications.


RE: AMD for the win... and easily.
By Smartless on 9/10/2010 3:34:17 PM , Rating: 2
Have to agree with your wind out of the "sales" analogy.

What's sad is name sells. Unless AMD hits a homerun, Intel will just sell. Only people here who keep track of reviews and benchmarks will know what's actually better. Sales will most likely be driven by Intel's name, the deals chipmakers make with manufacturers, and whoever makes the most noise.


RE: AMD for the win... and easily.
By SPOOFE on 9/10/2010 6:14:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sales will most likely be driven by Intel's name

And businesses that don't give a damn about being able to play games, even current ones. Intel knows where the money is, unfortunately for the rest of us.


RE: AMD for the win... and easily.
By wut on 9/10/2010 8:23:19 PM , Rating: 2
Why? Because Anand said so in his Sandy Bridge preview. Take it up with Anand... Tell him to take down his Sandy Bridge integrated graphics benchmarks.


RE: AMD for the win... and easily.
By Danish1 on 9/12/2010 8:13:52 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Intel has never released a good GPU of any kind


As an Intel shareholder I have to disagree with you. Good is defined by the bottom line and not serving your specific needs.


By inighthawki on 9/12/2010 2:58:16 PM , Rating: 2
And in his case, he uses good to define the quality vs the competition, in which case he is right.


RE: AMD for the win... and easily.
By Camikazi on 9/13/2010 11:18:18 AM , Rating: 2
Good is defined as whatever the person is basing his comparison on, and in this case it's performance and in that Intel has not been good.


RE: AMD for the win... and easily.
By Nutzo on 9/13/2010 11:37:11 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Intel has never released a good GPU of any kind,


Then I wonder how my year old laptop with an Intel GPU can play 1080p video over the HDMI connection to my TV?
Or how 95% of the people in my office get any work done since they have Intel GPU's.

Unless you are running 3D games, or have very specific 3D modeling requirements, the current Intel GPU's are fine.
The lower power requirements of the GPU on the laptop i5 chips also helps with battery life.


By monkeyman1140 on 9/13/2010 5:59:24 PM , Rating: 3
You could slap a 10 year old Matrox card in those office PC's and nobody would notice a change. Just because intel GPU's do a good Microsoft Word isn't an achievement

2D video doesn't require much horsepower.


"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs














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