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Fusion Complete: AMD's "Brazos" Promises Fierce Challenge to Atom
Written by Daniel   
Thursday, 11 November 2010 18:40

From DailyTech

Zacate and Ontario are only the first two members of AMD's APU invasion, which will soon hit netbooks and notebooks as well. 
APU is two Bobcat cores and a DX11 GPU

Intel's Atom processor has long enjoyed a reign as undisputed king of entry-level netbooks and ultraportables.  AMD is at last prepared to challenge that position with its long-awaited "Fusion" processor.

The chips are done and in 2011 AMD plans on launching 4 processors:

The E-xxx processors are parts in the Zacate series, while the C-xxx parts belong to the Ontario series, which is more heavily aimed at ultraportables.  Together these parts collectively belong to the Brazos family.

So is Brazos a leap forward for netbook computing or a step backward from the modest performance of Atom?  The answer is a bit of both.

Finally, a Solid IGP

The clear upside here is the integrated GPU.  In its high-end Ontario/Zacate models, AMD has packed two Bobcat cores.  Both the single-core and dual-core chips also feature an on-chip DirectX 11 GPU with 80 ALUs -- twice the number in Nile, AMD's previous integrated graphics solution.

The fact that AMD incorporated its integrated GPU directly on the same die as its CPU cores isn't exactly revolutionary, in so much as Intel already did this with its Pineview (Atom) chips launched earlier this year.  It is revolutionary in that it is the first on-chip GPU whose performance isn't horrendous and that it is the first on-die IGP to have a high-bandwidth link to the CPU (Pineview oddly opted for a slower FSB-like link on-die between the GPU core and CPU core[s]).


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