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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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Not really an intel fan but..
By djlewt on 9/10/2010 10:14:10 PM , Rating: 2
Thought I'd mention just for the sake of general knowledge, intel actually used to kick ass on the GPU front. srsly.

Man I can't tell you how much pwnage I got out of my old intel G740 vid card.. Mostly because I don't remember which game I was playing at the time, but let me tell you, 13 years ago intel really knew what was up as far as GPUs..

Now I know what you're thinking.. MAN that was forever ago! But think about it, intel was founded in 1968 and most likely till 1997 was quite a heavyweight in the GPU market, so really they've only been making crap GPUs for slightly less than 1/3 their time as a company, maybe they're thinking they'll be back on top soon..

Or maybe they'll just buy nvidia since that's the obvious choice.

Did I mention that in 1997 their main competitors were voodoo and trident?

RE: Not really an intel fan but..
By justjc on 9/11/2010 8:01:43 AM , Rating: 2
History seems to disagree with your memories. If Intel really had a kick ass product, and knew what was up in graphics, they probably wouldn't have had the problems, following the competition, that made them drop out of the race after 18 months. Or perhaps they did know and dropped out for that reason.

After all Intel had millions of dollars invested to make the best graphics card only to see it beaten within months by products such as the 3dFX Voodoo 2 and Nvidia Riva TNT.

RE: Not really an intel fan but..
By Zingam on 9/11/2010 8:21:10 AM , Rating: 2
Wow! Intel never kicked ass in GPU market. G740 was hardly a GPU. GPU is relatively new term from that first was used after year 2000.
Before 2000 there were other magnificent but now defunct video card manufacturers (most of them): Diamond Multimedia, Matrox, 3dfx, 3D Labs, S3 etc.

RE: Not really an intel fan but..
By djlewt on 9/11/2010 12:17:04 PM , Rating: 2
lol Sorry, fergot you've got to add a /s online or the sarcasm goes undetected..

But really.. When your option was a g740 for $35 or a voodoo for $200 and they could BOTH play pretty much any game of the time, that seemed to me they at least had SOMETHING to offer the gpu market, unlike now..

Still.. They're gonna buy nvidia. Do they really have any other option?

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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