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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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Nice project
By pinkpanther6800 on 10/25/2006 11:31:34 AM , Rating: 2
There is no doubt what amd/ati is going to in the future.

We will see chips with both cpu/gpu combined into one chip. A lot of different chips with different gpus and cpus will be the buyers option. how big do you want your gpu do be and the cpu on the chip. when you upgrade you get a whole new chip including the cpu and gpu.

About the lack in power, well dont even compare it to onboard graphics...thats a lol.

This is two powerhouses combined in close connection. Is certain that you cant compare crappy intel onboard with this....This is the next step in the computer progress.

If you have a quad core or 6-8 core machine in 2008 or 2009 means you have also the same cores in graphics. It will be very very strong.




RE: Nice project
By ZmaxDP on 10/26/2006 2:15:17 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think that you've nailed it on the head anymore than I have. In most scenarios, if you take to extremes and find a middle ground then you're a lot closer to the truth. I think we will continue to see some discrete solutions for graphics far into the future, and likely some completely integrated solutions very soon. However, while there is some redundancy in the two discrete solutions, there isn't enough that simply combining the two will lead to either much lower power usage or even a feasable chip design.

Instead, I think that AMD is really looking to re-define what a CPU and GPU should do. I think a lot of the processing-heavy tasks of the GPU will migrate to the CPU and most of the (currently) graphics only functions will stay put on a GPU that is much reduced in size, complexity, and power consumption.

There are just too many downsides to the consumer with making all GPU and CPU functions exist on one chip in the Mid to High range graphics markets.

No, the money is in making a very fast and wide processing core using the parallel processing capabilities currently on the GPU and a small and efficient integrated graphics core that can act as the GPU for 98% of the market and as a pre-processing core for the other 2%.

My two cents...


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