AMD Partners Prep For Fusion Launch With New Motherboards


AMD Thursday said its partners in the system builder channel will have access to a number of motherboard products for its Fusion integrated graphics platform, which is set to appear in several devices next year.

Several manufacturers, including ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI and Sapphire will offer motherboard designs based on the E-series APUs and AMD's embedded G-Series platform, which is designed for the company's 64-bit embedded CPU/chipset business and is scheduled for release in Q1 of 2011.

Asus says it will offer cost-effective solutions and power-efficient motherboards based on the AMD E-Series APU. Gigabyte says its latest motherboards based on dual-core E-Series APUs will address low-power requirements while offering high-speed performance. MSI says its new Mini-ITX and uATX motherboards will also leverage the E-Series APU, with an emphasis on multimedia support and long-term usability for relatively small and quiet machines. Finally, Sapphire says its E-Series APU-based motherboard designs will support fast performance while saving power on its cost-effective PCs.

“AMD is ushering in a new era of personal computing, and our industry partners are ready to take advantage of the first ever AMD Fusion APU,” said Chris Cloran, corporate vice president and general manager of AMD's Computing Solutions Group Client Division, in a statement. “By combining the processing of the CPU with the GPU on a single energy efficient chip, we believe their customers can take advantage of better price/performance, superior 1080p HD playback and small form factors for innovative designs.”

AMD says eBrazos will power a variety of embedded applications including digital signage, medical imaging, and point-of-sale kiosks. AMD began adding embedded solutions to its chipsets alongside its x86 architecture when it acquired graphics specialist ATI in 2005.

Among the other Fusion processor families AMD showcased last month, the 18-watt C series Zacate APU, the 9-watt C-SERIES Ontario APU, and the Brazos platform are aimed at mobile devices with low power consumption. The Brazos APU integrates AMD's low-power x86 architecture with the high-power parallel-compute engine GPU.

In May, AMD expanded its Fusion Partner Program in order to develop the relationships necessary for the chipmaker to be successful in both CPU and GPU segments, as well as the forthcoming APU segment.

AMD will face stiff competition from Intel in the market for integrated graphics solutions. Last month Intel began full production of its Atom-based Oak Trail processors , which will place the CPU and GPU on a single die, while reducing power consumption by 50 percent, according to Intel. The Oak Trail platform is intended for tablets specifically--an area which the first AMD Fusion processors to ship, codenamed Llano, also targets, as do Brazos and Zacate.