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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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By Reclaimer77 on 9/10/2010 3:21:55 PM , Rating: -1
I always thought that Intel consistently had much higher prices for their chips thus lowering the price/performance ratio.

No, because their chips perform consistently higher. Price isn't the only variable in price/performance ratio.

By omnicronx on 9/10/2010 3:39:57 PM , Rating: 2
This is not the server market, who cares about p/p for consumer chips alone? Its about the system as a hole, and I think AMD still has the slight edge there.. AMD boards are consistently cheaper than Intel based offerings.

Yes Performance is obviously a big variable, but when the price can be swayed as much as 1/3 for your entire system, the performance difference becomes negligeable. Especially when you consider upon release, these chips will not be found in high end system. (i.e performance variance will be a lot smaller than comparing higher end machines, especially for the average user)

By omnicronx on 9/10/2010 4:20:25 PM , Rating: 2
I said if the price was 1/3 of Intel offerings than Intels performance advantage would be negligible.

If AMD's offerings are 1/3 less than Intels, then Intel would have to offer performance than is 1/3 faster in order for their statements to be validated. Otherwise they don't truly have a better PPR..

My statement was trying to conclude they are most likely very equal, never way I trying to imply that Performance does not matter. That being said, if both are equal are you truly trying to say that the average user will splurge for the more expensive but more powerful offerings? Even though the lower end offering offers just as much value for what you are paying for it?

I don't agree with that statement one bit, performance offerings become more and more of a niche market the further you go up the scale. The mid to low end markets are always the cash cows for companies like Intel, AMD and Nvidia.

This also seems to indicate that price and not performance is the most compelling factor. (both certainly matter, but price is usually the tipping point)

By dark matter on 9/12/2010 7:43:58 AM , Rating: 4
It's your attitude that gets you the -1, very hostile and condescending. If your argument is valid your facts carry weight, if you need to color your arguments in a patronising way then you actually detract from what could be otherwise excellent points.

Hope this helps you.

By Reclaimer77 on 9/13/2010 9:24:20 AM , Rating: 2
Text isn't the best tool to convey sarcasm and "condescension". I think you are just reading things in my posts that just aren't there, or that come across poorly in text. I'm not patronizing anyone here. Maybe you should give others the benefit of the doubt given limited medium?

The simple fact is, if I was being "pro AMD" my same exact posting style that you claim is the problem would be getting 5's.

That's whats funny. I have nothing against AMD. I just personally believe you get what you pay for when it comes to electronics, and that Intel has the best platform going right now. Saving money isn't my main goal when building systems. Frankly I don't see what's so controversial and offensive about this opinion. Given Intels sales figures, I doubt I'm in some tiny minority either. So honestly, there is no way you can justify these -1's. It's this silly them vs us mentality.

By hyvonen on 9/12/2010 5:43:34 PM , Rating: 2
That being said, if both are equal are you truly trying to say that the average user will splurge for the more expensive but more powerful offerings? Even though the lower end offering offers just as much value for what you are paying for it?

I would argue that yes - a lot of times average customers opt for the more powerful/capable/better option. For instance, most people would be perfectly fine commuting in a tiniest Toyota Yaris/Chevy Aveo/whathaveyou, but still people tend to buy larger/faster/cooler/etc. cars.

Or, most people would be perfectly fine with the cheapest possible cell phone, or if smartphone capabilities are really needed, they could buy the cheapest Samsung/LG smart phone available. Yet they buy much more expensive iPhones and various Android phones because they are better/faster/cooler/etc. And these are regular people.

By inighthawki on 9/12/2010 9:33:09 PM , Rating: 2
Also to add to that, if offered two options with the same P/P ratio, then some may also look for more future-proof offerings, and as a result the faster offering is more appropriate despite being more than what they need now, since it could end up saving money in the future. That is an arguable point, though, so I'll leave it at that.

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer

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