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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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Efficiency is key, power and die size
By EE50 on 9/11/2010 8:55:42 AM , Rating: 2
The key will be power efficiency for both the CPU and GPU. AMD can deliver great GPU performance but at the cost of high power consumption, high die temperatures, and large chips. Intel has had a big lead over AMD in CPU performance per watt, and process technology. The best solution for main stream laptops will continue to be Intel, for gaming, switchable discrete will be the winner.




By Kim Leo on 9/17/2010 8:47:29 AM , Rating: 2
That's simply not true, clearly you haven't even researched the slightest about Bobcat vs Atom as an example, I doubt you even looked at the picture because it's pretty clear that the die is really small on bobcat, it's the same size(slightly smaller) than the Pine Trail(atom + gma3150) While being close to the same consumption and most likely twice as fast on both CPU and GPU front.

And yes if you have the money to buy Intel mainstream laptop with onboard and embedded Graphics card of course that would be better, but if you want something cheap that's useable for more than just casual browsing Bobcat should almost certainly deliver and more. And considering how promising the 18W model has been we will see a lot of great laptops at a fantastic price, something Intel don't have, unless you're willing to torture yourself with an Atom netbook, and I know that I am not willing to do that and would rather wait for Ontario to finally deliver cheap excellent netbooks.


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