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The future of CPU/GPU computing

With the completion of AMD’s acquisition of ATI, AMD has announced its working on new CPU/GPU silicon that integrates the CPU and graphics processor into a single unit. The upcoming silicon is currently codenamed Fusion and is expected in the late 2008 or early 2009 time frame. AMD claims Fusion will bring:

AMD intends to design Fusion processors to provide step-function increases in performance-per-watt relative to today’s CPU-only architectures, and to provide the best customer experience in a world increasingly reliant upon 3D graphics, digital media and high-performance computing. With Fusion processors, AMD will continue to promote an open platform and encourage companies throughout the ecosystem to create innovative new co-processing solutions aimed at further optimizing specific workloads. AMD-powered Fusion platforms will continue to fully support high-end discrete graphics, physics accelerators, and other PCI Express-based solutions to meet the ever-increasing needs of the most demanding enthusiast end-users.

AMD expects to integrate Fusion for all its product categories including laptops, desktops, workstation, servers and consumer electronics products. Judging by the inclusion of PCI Express support, it would appear the integrated GPU is more of a value solution—similar to Intel’s cancelled Timna processor. It is unknown if AMD will retain the current Athlon and Opteron names with the launch of Fusion. This isn't too surprising as AMD and ATI previously promised unified product development including vague mentions of hybrid CPU and GPU products. AMD also previously announced its Torrenza open architecture as well.

In addition to Fusion, AMD expects to ship integrated platforms with ATI chipsets in 2007. The platforms are expected empower commercial clients, notebooks, gaming and media computing. AMD expects users will benefit from greater battery life on the next-generation Turion platforms and greater enhancements with AMD Live! systems. DailyTech previously reported on ATI's chipset roadmap which outlined various integrated graphics and enthusiast products.

With the development of Fusion and upcoming integrated AMD platforms, it is unknown what will happen to NVIDIA’s chipset business, which currently relies mainly on AMD chipset sales.


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!
By Scabies on 10/25/2006 9:54:48 AM , Rating: 2
Heat poisoning. I'm going to coin that phrase now. Wouldnt there be issues with the same 4in^2 piece of silicon sharing two entirely different complex high performance processors? I mean, overclocking one will overheat the other. That problem will probably point to one of the solutions made above, either that A this will be a budget and mass market solution, or B, we may see an AM-G socket for onboard GPU.

that aside, could they utilize a PCIx-16 slot for a weird VRAM card? Would you get better bandwidth between the PCIx slot - CPU than you would between the CPU - mobo RAM?




RE: !
By ADDAvenger on 10/26/2006 1:47:25 AM , Rating: 2
The same could be said for multi-core systems. They've figured out how to have several powerful CPUs in a package, why couldn't they do the same about several CPUs and a GPU or two? And don't say GPUs are hotter, Netburst was an inferno but now we have very cool processors all around. The same will happen for GPUs, though if I had to guess I'd say it won't until ATi is on their 3xxx series and nVidia's on their 9xxx series.


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