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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 inighthawki on 9/11/2010 10:38:45 PM , Rating: 2
Your i7-930 $100 cheaper than a 1090T is not representative of the usual prices. As of today both processors sell around $290 +/- $10 on Newegg, Amazon, etc. So AMD has the perf/price advantage in this comparison (6-core 3.2GHz, vs. 4-core 2.8GHz: no contest).

Well yes I agree, that is why I specifically stated that in certain cases, the opposite can be true, such as the deal I got which allowed me to get a better deal on an Intel chip than an AMD chip. I in no way support the idea that Intel has the better price/performance ratio here.

But even speaking of what you said, the chip itself is only a fraction of the result. Add in a motherboard and the RAM to the equation and the AMD build can be much much cheaper. Since most newer AMD chips plug into a large market of existing motherboards, it allows for a HUGE performance boost utilizing an existing mb/ram combo.

Intel's offerings, on the other hand, do not have the same advantages. Even if you need a new motherboard for both an AMD and Intel setup, the Intel-based motherboards generally cost more, at least for enthusiast motherboards such as socket 1366 motherboards, whereas a higher end AM3 or AM2+ motherboard can be gotten for half, or even less.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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