AMD claims big carbon savings for Fusion APUs

Processor underdog AMD is continuing to push its Fusion range of Accelerated Processing Units, this time jumping on to the eco-friendly bandwagon with a claimed 40 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over previous-generation chips.

The Fusion range of APUs is AMD's latest attempt to sneak up on x86 giant Intel. It combines the graphics know-how the company acquired with the purchase of ATI with its long-standing x86 knowledge to create a single chip capable of general purpose and graphics processing.

As well as offering power saving and cooling advantages over its competitors, AMD is now claiming that Fusion can even help the environment thanks to a dramatic drop in greenhouse gas emissions over last-generation chips.

Comparing the recently released AMD Fusion E-350 APU with an AMD Athlon Neo II with ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5430 graphics processor, AMD claims that the Fusion chip offers a 40.3 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions - good news for those who like to give the environment a break.

The figures come from a study funded by AMD which found that the E-350 reference design generated 40.2Kg of CO2-equivalent emissions, compared to 67.4Kg CO2-equivalent emissions for the last-generation solution throughout the life cycle of both devices.

If you're more worried about rising energy costs than the state of the environment, the same study claimed that moving to an AMD Fusion platform from a last-generation device could save around 9KWh of energy each year - although it's worth pointing out that this figure was calculated backwards from the greenhouse gas emissions calculation.

"AMD’s commitment to reduce our impact on the environment spans our operations, our behaviors and the products we design," AMD's chief marketing officer Nigel Dessau claimed in a statement. "AMD Fusion APUs are a remarkable example of how a company’s business interests and environmental interests can align and result in innovative products that deliver incredible experiences, value, and significant energy and cost savings for consumers and businesses alike."

If AMD's calculations prove accurate, it's a major boon for the new-born Fusion platform - but the company is going to have some competition on its hands in the near future. Rival processor maker Intel has embedded GPU technology in its latest Sandy Bridge processors, and rival graphics specialist Nvidia is attacking from the other angle by adding ARM-based CPU cores to its existing GPU solutions in the form of Project Denver.

For those wanting to check AMD's sums, a white paper entitled: 'A comparative assessment of the carbon footprint of AMD Fusion products with the previous generation products' is available for download as a PDF file now.