AMD demonstrated AMD Fusion APU – delivering powerful CPU and GPU capabilities for HD, 3D and data-intensive workloads in a single-die processor– demonstrated APU accelerated Internet Explorer 9 and DirectX 11 rendering and special effects.
This is done by combing a GPU and a CPU into one device has been something that both Intel and AMD have been working towards for a long time. The idea is that by combing the CPU and the GPUY you can get a device, called an APU, which can do both functions, save space on the board of the computer, and reduce power consumption.
AMD plans to release two different APUs: Llano for mainstream laptops and desktops and the low-power Ontario for smaller laptops, netbooks and other devices. We know that Llano will have up to four cores and will be manufactured at 32nn by GlobalFoundries, the semiconductor foundry established by the spin-off of AMD’s manufacturing operations. AMD still hasn’t said who will manufacture the dual-core Ontario, though there have been reports that TSMC is manufacturing it on its 40nm bulk silicon process. Nevertheless both are sampling now-industry jargon meaning that AMD is showing it to select customers–and will be released sometime in the first half of 2011, Bergman said.
AMD showed two demonstrations of a “low-power Fusion APU,” which presumably refers to a dual-core Ontario. The first showed it ability to play a demanding DirectX 11 game, Rebellion’s Aliens vs. Predator. Bergman noted that this was the same game AMD used last fall to demonstrate the capabilities of its high-end discrete GPU. “Can you imagine getting performance of that quality in a netbook this size?” he asked the audience while holding up a standard netbook that could accommodate an Ontario APU. The second demonstration showed the performance in Internet Explorer with and without APU acceleration using a Browser Flip test in the latest IE 9 Platform Preview. The performance increased from 2-3 frames per second without acceleration to about 60 fps using the APU.
Looks like we should be expecting more AMD solutions for tablets, low power notebooks in the months to come.