Two news articles popped into our inbox earlier today, one piece from Xbitlabs that brings us more information about the first Fusion product from AMD, which goes by the sweet name of Sabine, while the other is a review by the same outlet that explores the difference between in performance between a single core and a dual core Atom processor when paired with an Nvidia ION processor.
This brings us to an interesting situation; The new Atom "Pinetrail" processor from Intel is elegant but fails to offer the kind of performance that one can expect from a contemporary graphics solution and pairing it with the new Nvidia ION chipset essentially negates the benefits associated with bringing the GMA3150 graphics module on Atom.
According to Xbitlabs, the first AMD Fusion will be offered either as a two or four core product complete with a GPU with 480 Stream processors which means that the most power-efficient model is likely to have a TDP of 45w, a number that can be slashed by decreasing the number of stream processors.
The HD5730 has 400 Stream processors and would totally obliterate the new ION processor which is based on the GT218 chip. Even with 160 stream processors, which is half what you'd expect to find on the Mobility Radeon HD5165, the combined TDP would be slashed to around 35w.
Given the fact that the AMD's will use the 32nm SOI process technology and the APU will be a more tightly integrated solution than just combining a CPU and a GPU, one can expect that number to hover around 30W.
That's still twice the amount of what the Dual Core D510 Processor offers but only a few watts more than the total TDP rating of the Pinetrail + Nvidia ION and possibly cost a fraction of the price.
So, will AMD introduce a competitor to Atom and ION by early next year? Possibly yes as users look for more and more powerful solutions to replace their ageing and obsolete first generation netbooks. It would be interesting to find out whether AMD will be integrating IO on the processor as well.