AMD’s Fusion Blends CPU and GPU
AMD released the first of its Fusion products, which combine the CPU and GPU on one piece of silicon but unlike sandy Bridge, the Fusion E-series and C-series processors (or APUs, for “Accelerated processing Units”) are aimed at low-power laptops. Competitors to intel’s Atom processor and low power pentium line, they’ll appear in netbooks and inexpensive ultraportables, as well as in a few “nettop” desktop PCs, plus all-in-one desktops with smaller screens and lower prices.
The E-series and C-series are dual-core processors with integrated graphics based on AMD‘s radeon 6000 series; this setup means full DirectX 11 compatibility and great video processing.
We’ve just started to test Fusion-based PCs, but we’re impressed by the balance of CPU and GPU power, given that the focus is on laptops priced under $500 with battery life of 6 hours or more.
Later this year AMD will introduce an enhanced Fusion (code-named llano) with more-powerful CPU cores and a dramatically more powerful integrated DirectX 11-capable GPU. AMD will aim it at ultraportable and midsize laptops, but you’ll likely find it in lower-priced desktops and all-in-ones as well.