AMD to ship first Fusion chips this week

AMD said it will start shipping its Fusion chips to PC makers this week.

The chip maker talked up the 'fused' CPU and GPU combination, which it calls Accelerated Processing Units (APUs), at its annual Financial Analyst Day earlier today.

The first pair of chips to ship are aimed at mobile computers and fit into what AMD calls the Brazos 'platform' - a "low-power, low-cost platform designed for ultra-thin and mainstream notebooks, small desktops and all-in-ones, and netbooks."

The 18-watt variant, codenamed Zacate, is aimed at mainstream laptops, while the lower-powered, 9-watt Ontario, is aimed at smaller 'form factors'. The firm said here will be single-core and dual-core versions of both chips

The chips are based on the low-power Bobcat core and integrate DirectX 11 graphics processors on a single die.

Dirk Meyer, AMD president and CEO reckons users are demanding technology that is more immersive and interactive. "With our upcoming AMD Fusion APUs combining our DirectX 11-capable graphics processors and next-generation microprocessors on a single chip, we are poised to lead the industry's next computing era with richer, more vivid digital experiences," he said.

AMD also demonstrated its new x86 multi-core CPU architecture codenamed 'Bulldozer' and outlined its plans for chips based on a next-generation sub-one watt 'Bobcat' CPU combined with a DirectX 11-capable GPU. 'Krishna', a two-core variant and 'Wichita', sporting four cores. will be aimed at tablets, notebooks and netbooks.

'Trinity', a 32nm APU based on AMD's next-generation 'Bulldozer' CPU cores, together with a DirectX 11-capable GPU, is aimed at mainstream and high-performance desktops and notebooks;

'Komodo', an upcoming 32nm CPU featuring up to ten Bulldozer cores will be designed for high-performance and enthusiast desktops;

AMD intends to scale Bulldozer up to servers with 'Terramar' and 'Sepang', two new 32nm CPUs. 'Terramar' will scale up to 20 cores while 'Sepang' will scale up to 10 cores.

Meyer said initial Fusion offerings will appear in products from January. Expect a bit of a song and a dance at CES.