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AMD's Giuseppe Amato dispels rumors and misinterpreted statements of "Fusion," GPGPU and the company

In an interview with Italian media, AMD Executive Giuseppe Amato, Technical Director of Sales & Marketing EMEA, discussed AMD's current market position and future products.

In the interview, Amato shed more light on the structure of AMD's upcoming Fusion processors. A misconception that Amato noted is that Fusion processors will not only be available in single-chip flavors, but also multi-chip formats. Two Fusion processors linked together would allow for parallel GPUs. He said that AMD has still not solidified the future plans of Fusion yet, but indicated it would be very likely to see a Fusion processor with a GPU and CPU connected through a CrossFire-like interface -- and have a total TDP of less than 120 Watts.

Amato also praised the flexibility of the Fusion processor in the interview and told Hardware Upgrade that it will allow AMD to "integrate a specific number of GPU and CPU cores depending on the customer and the uses for which they will use the chip." 

"AMD isn't just a microprocessor company anymore", he stated. After the acquisition of ATI, "AMD changed from a processor company to a platform company." This is where Fusion ties in. Its high grade of flexibility will combine GPUs and CPUs into one product. Amato believes that Fusion platforms will be able to specifically match the needs of its customers.

AMD's Fusion processors will also be closely tied to GPGPU. Using a GPGPU platform based on Fusion, AMD will be able to offer HPC systems that can do all kinds of work. Code that is more suited for CPUs will be executed on the CPU part of the Fusion processor, while code more efficiently run on a GPGPU will be run on the GPU portion of the processor. To sum it up, AMD's Fusion processors will be able to do a variety of work, allowing them to better meet the needs of AMD's customers.

Amato also dispelled rumors that AMD will be going completely fabless. He blames the source of the rumor as a misinterpretation of a speech Hector Ruiz gave. However, AMD plans to stick to a fab-less manufacturing model for GPU and chipset products.

The full interview can be viewed at Hardware Upgrade.

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RE: sounds good
By robrbecker on 7/16/2007 3:52:55 PM , Rating: 2
I think from what I've read at the inquirer and other tech sites their approach will most likely be to have multiple sockets on a board that different types of "processors" plug in to. Think of a mobo with 2 or more AM3 sockets connected with hypertransport. You could put any combination of things into these sockets: one or more dual or quad core AMD general purpose CPUs or one or more AMD (ATI) GPGPU. Workstations or scientific types could put added floating point powerhouses. And the best part is that the system will figure out which processor would perform operations the fastest and delegate the work to the appropriate chip.
It's like a heterogeneous multi-core processor where each core is physically replaceable since it is it's own chip. AMD could put these one the same die to cut cost and power further (and probably will) for mass-market models.

I think this approach will make huge progress for AMD in the mobile space: better graphics with lower power consumption!

RE: sounds good
By cobalt42 on 7/16/2007 4:09:14 PM , Rating: 3
I think you're thinking of Torrenza. Similar in concept, but one of the differences is that Fusion has more emphasis on heterogeneity in a single chip and Torrenza as an approach to plug in to HT sockets, e.g. with miscellaneous accelerators including FPGAs.

RE: sounds good
By GabrielIkram on 7/16/2007 4:27:35 PM , Rating: 4
Well, Fusion can be a part of Torrenza. It will most likely be working as a part of a Torrenza platform. Remember, Torrenza is a new AMD platform, and Fusion will probably be able to fit right into the platform.

A Torrenza platform's motherboard consists of two accelerator sockets and a PCIe accelerator.

What this means is that a highly specific system can be built. For example, for one accelerator socket I can decide to use a Fusion processor. For the other socket, I can use a third-party dedicated math coprocessor. Another highly-specific accelerator can be added using the PCI-Express interface. So basically, I can build a complete platform tailored specifically for my needs.

This is what I am seeing the new goal of AMD as, and this is what they will probably be targeting the corporate world with; extreme flexibility. If you need any futher explanation, go ahead and ask. Alternatively, you can also refer to this link:

or this link:

RE: sounds good
By Treckin on 7/16/07, Rating: 0
"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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