Fusion Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) Officially Launched

AMD Fusion APUAMD launched today the Fusion Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) that integrate CPU, graphics processor, HD video decoder, and memory controller in a single die.

The first Fusion APUs are the E-Series “Zacate” units, designed for mainstream notebooks, all-in-one, and small form factor desktop PCs, and the C-Series “Ontario” for HD-capable netbooks and other emerging form factors. “Zacate” and “Ontario” belong to the “Brazos” mobile platform and are built upon “Bobcat” x86 CPU cores.

The E-Series include the E-350 and E-240 APUs, with 1.6GHz dual and 1.5GHz single CPU cores, respectively. The E-Series has a thermal design power of 18W.

AMD’s C-Series APUs are the 1GHz dual core C-50 and 1.2GHz single core C-30, both consuming 9W of power.

Besides the “Bobcat” cores, the 40-nanometer Fusion APUs incorporate DirectX 11-capable graphics and the 1080p-capable UVD3 video acceleration block found in the new AMD Radeon HD 6800 Series GPUs. The APUs support 2D content conversion into stereoscopic 3D and AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing technology that enables applications to take advantage of GPU acceleration.

APUs’ power efficiency enables “all-day battery life – 10 hours or more”, according to AMD.

Laptops and netbooks based on the first Fusion chips are expected to hit the market soon, while Fusion-based tablets and embedded designs are expected be available later in Q1 2011.

AMD also announced release of the 32nm A-Series “Llano” Fusion APU for performance and mainstream notebooks and mainstream desktops. It will feature up to four x86 cores and a DirectX 11-capable discrete-level GPU. The platform is scheduled to ship in the first half of 2011 and appear in products mid-year.

Some computer makers, such as Lenovo, MSI and Acer, have already revealed their first Fusion-powered mobile computers.

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Danijel is a tech blogger who founded Laptoping in 2006. His specialty are Windows-based mobile PCs, from tablets and ultraportables to full blown gaming laptops.

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