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AMD Graphics Upgrades Hardware Technology

AMD Fusion System Architecture Detailed 121

Posted by timothy
from the why-when-I-was-a-boy dept.
Vigile writes "At the first AMD Fusion Developer Summit near Seattle this week, AMD revealed quite a bit of information about its next-generation GPU architecture and the eventual goals it has for the CPU/GPU combinations known as APUs. The company is finally moving away from a VLIW architecture and instead is integrating a vector+scalar design that allows for higher utilization of compute units and easier hardware scheduling. AMD laid out a 3-year plan to offer features like unified address space and fully coherent memory for the CPU and GPU that have the potential to dramatically alter current programming models. We will start seeing these features in GPUs released later in 2011."
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AMD Fusion System Architecture Detailed

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  • by Targon (17348) on Friday June 17, 2011 @05:55AM (#36472358)

    There will still be that same ability to get separate components, but the GPU element is being moved from the chipset onto the CPU(now called an APU).

    There really have been only three general configurations:
    1: CPU with integrated graphics on the motherboard
    2: CPU with integrated graphics on the motherboard PLUS a discrete video card/GPU.
    3: CPU without integrated graphics on the motherboard with ONLY one or more video cards.

    So, what this does is to update 1 and 2, since you can still add a discrete video card. Since the graphics portion of Fusion is better than what Intel offers, this isn't a bad setup. There will also be the option to swap the APU with a faster version that has both a faster CPU core as well as faster GPU core in most motherboards.

    Yes, there are certain advantages offered by the APU design, but it isn't an "all or nothing" offering, AMD will continue to offer straight CPUs(with Bulldozer being the next core design), and if you think about it, AMD may go to a tick-tock design like Intel has, but rather than it being based on core design and fab processor technology going back and forth, we may see AMD going CPU core design, GPU design, and then APU to combine the latest CPU and GPU designs.

    Right now, many are waiting for AMD to release its first all new core design since 2003, since that will hopefully get AMD the better CPU core performance that many have been waiting for.

  • Will it run Linux? (Score:5, Informative)

    by vigour (846429) on Friday June 17, 2011 @07:55AM (#36472782)

    Will it run Linux?

    I'm not being facetious, I got stung by the lack of support [phoronix.com] by Nvidia for their Optimus [nvidia.com] graphics cards on my ASUS U30JC.

    Thankfully Martin Juhl [martin-juhl.dk] has been working on a solution using VirtualGL, which gives us the use of our Nvidia cards under linux [github.com]

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