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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 KingofL337 on 10/25/2006 2:45:11 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think you guys are looking at this the way it its going to unfold. I don't think the GPU in the CPU will be rendering all the graphics. Aka loading a Display driver for your CPU. I think its just going to be another core that will be used in number crunching.

Lets use the X300 intergrated Chipset / GPU. Right now it's pretty much the sux. Not as bad as intel GMA but still pretty bad. Now with two cores the X300 will run in a crossfire ish setup where some of the processing can be done by the Fusion CPU. But the frame buffer will still be controlled by the X300.

I'm not sure how many remember the reason we went to dedicated graphics cards. It was basicly the CPU wasn't designed to properly process the specialized tasks needed for high speed rendering. With ATI's GPU the X86 will probably take a back seat, the raw horsepower of the GPU
will shine. Look at the folding at home project, they said the GPU is 30 times more efficient at processing data then a traditional CPU.

Its going to be interesting no doubt.

"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke
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