AMD's High Power Computing Future Relies on Fusion Of CPU And GPU

AMD's Phil Rogers has revealed his plans for the Fusion accelerated processing unit architecture, and it goes way beyond gaming laptops.

At the company's Fusion Developer Summit, Rogers explained that Fusion is going to evolve over the next few years until it becomes an integral part of AMD's entire product offering.

"The first APUs from AMD dramatically increase processing performance while consuming less power," Rogers explained, "and now we are building upon that achievement with our next generation of products. Future innovations are intended to make the different processor cores more transparent to programmers. They can then seamlessly tap into the gigaflops of power-efficient performance available on the APU and design even faster, more visually stunning applications on a wide range of form factors."

By 2014, AMD hopes to have completed full system integration for Fusion. While current APUs feature physical integration, with the CPU and GPU sharing the same silicon and a unified memory controller, he outlined a strategy that will see the APU concept grow to take over the system according to thinq_

The first step will see the addition of C++ support in the general-purpose GPU compute offering and bi-directional power management between the CPU and GPU.

A unified address space for CPU and GPU, including the ability for the GPU to harness pageable system memory via CPU pointers, and fully coherent memory between CPU and GPU will follow.

Finally will come GPU compute context switching, GPU graphics pre-emption, quality of service controls, and the ability to fuse together the APU and additional discrete GPUs into a single cohesive whole.