AMD Takes Fusion Processors To Embedded Systems - InformationWeek

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AMD Takes Fusion Processors To Embedded Systems

The G-series chips compete with Intel's combo graphics-CPU processors, and are targeted toward Internet-enabled set-top boxes, thin clients, and point-of-sale kiosks.

Advanced Micro Devices is expanding its line of Fusion processors, taking the combination of central processor and discrete graphics on a single die to Internet-enabled set-top boxes, digital signage, and other products using embedded systems.

AMD launched its new G-Series of processors on Wednesday, a couple of weeks after the company introduced the new line of chips at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The first releases were aimed at netbooks, tablet computers, and inexpensive laptops and desktops.

The latest series moves the product line into embedded systems that have the need for graphics. Those applications would include digital signage, Internet-ready set-top boxes, mobile and desktop thin clients, casino gaming machines, and point-of-sale kiosks.

AMD calls its Fusion line accelerated processing units, or APUs. The new series comes with single- or dual-core CPUs, codenamed Bobcat. The chips are 64-bit, have 1 MB of L2 cache and a clock speed of up to 1.6 GHz. They support Microsoft's DirectX 11 graphics technology in Windows, two modules of DDR3-800 and DDR3-1066 system memory, and AMD's third-generation unified video decoder. The single-core processor has a thermal design power of 9 watts, while the dual-core's TDP is 18 watts.

AMD says a number of companies are expected to launch products using the latest products in the coming weeks, including Advansus, Compulab, Congatec, Fujitsu, Haier, iEi, Kontron, Mitec, Quixant, Sintrones, Starnet, WebDT, and Wyse. "Today, we have a record number of embedded launch partners," Patrick Patla, corporate VP and general manager of AMD's server and embedded division, said in a statement.

The G-Series APUs support a variety of operating systems, such as Windows, Linux, and real-time. The chips also come with multiple BIOS options and the integrated OpenCLTM programming environment and source-level debug tools.

AMD's APUs for desktops and laptops compete with Intel's combo graphics-CPU processors, codenamed Sandy Bridge. Intel introduced 20 of the processors at CES under the Core brand. The initial releases are single- and dual-core products.

Combining graphics and CPU on a single die produces significantly better graphics performance than having a separate graphics chip embedded in the motherboard, the typical design in the past. A separate graphics card is still needed for handling intensive graphic applications, such as high-end video games or professional video editing.

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