We're back from CES Unveiled and will be bringing you hands-on video of all the latest devices and technology as soon as we can.
Intel and AMD are old foes when it comes to trading processing blows and CES 2011 is no different. Intel are parading its Sandy Bridge series of CPUs (more of which very soon) and AMD yesterday gave us a glimpse of its Fusion Series of Accelerated Processing Units (APUs).
At CES Unveiled yesterday we got a chance to chat to Bob Grim from AMD who told us that the Fusion Series of APUs were placing a lot of importance on video and media capabilities. The Zacate (E-series), Ontario (C-series) and Llano (A-Series) of APUs incorporate a multicore CPU, DirectX 11 discrete video (Sandy Bridge supports only DirectX 10.1) and parallel processing engine, a dedicated Universal Video Decoder 3 (UVD3) HD video acceleration block, and a high-speed bus for carrying data between the APU's cores.
The low power Zacate and Ontario Series of APUs were launched yesterday with the higher-end Llano coming towards the middle of 2011. Announced back in September,the Zacate Series is comprised of two APUs, the E240 and the E350 - the former being a single core 1.5GHz processor while the latter is a dual-core 1.6GHz APU. Both of these have a TDP of 18watts – which represents the maximum amount of power the cooling system requires. The Zacate series is designed for mainstream notebooks, All-in-Ones, and small form factor desktops according to AMD
As with all the Fusion Series APUs, AMD claim lower power consumption and therefore longer battery life but this we will have to reserve judgement until we get our hands on some Zacate-powered devices which should happen in weeks rather than months. The C-Series of chips also comprise of two APUs, the 1.2GHz single-core C30 and the 1.0GHz dual-core C50. The Ontario APUs have a TDP of 9watts and are aimed at the netbook and emerging form factor markets appearing in devices typically priced between $200 and $500 according to Grim. Both E- and C-Series APUs feature the new "Bobcat" CPU core, AMD's first new x86 core since 2003.
The Fusion Series will also feature the 32nm die A-Series (Llano) APU, which includes up to four x86 cores and a DirectX 11-capable discrete-level GPU, and is scheduled to ship in the first half of 2011 and appear in products mid-year. "We believe that AMD Fusion processors are, quite simply, the greatest advancement in processing since the introduction of the x86 architecture more than forty years ago," said Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager, AMD Products Group. A big boast and only time will tell if he’s right or not.
AMD expects Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, MSI, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba to announce plans (and some have already including MSI and Sony) to deliver AMD Fusion APU-based systems in 2011. We're expecting lots more AMD-related news at CES so check back for more updates.