AMD to take on Intel's Atom with lightweight Fusion chip

By on March 11, 2010, 8:05 PM
AMD reportedly plans to target the netbook market with a new processor in its Fusion line. The part will be in direct opposition to Intel's Atom, and to some extent, ARM's offerings. While AMD offers the low-powered Athlon Neo, it's generally used in small notebooks and competes more with Intel's CULV processors than its Atoms.

AMD's Fusion products are part of an ongoing project to unite its CPU and GPU cores on one chip. The first Fusion processors should appear early next year, with the netbook chip aimed at 12-inch devices or smaller. It will consume 10W to 15W of power, and according to Nigel Dessau, AMD's chief marketing officer, the integrated GPU will offer enough performance to not require a discrete solution, such as the Nvidia Ion.

It seems likely that the processor is AMD's 32nm Bobcat introduced last November, but that's unconfirmed at this point. There is also no official release date or pricing, nor is it known what manufacturers might use the lightweight Fusion.




User Comments: 31

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Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

I'm glad to here they are finally releasing something to complete with Intel on the ultra low powered platform. It's unfortunate it will be another year until they actually release something.

ToastOz said:

Targeting early next year? sucks if you want something soon.

Guest said:

Too little, too late -- or in terms of power -- too much, too late.

tengeta tengeta said:

Its competition, it gives Intel a reason to improve the Atom product line... thats a win-win in my book.

pipopaz said:

Wow AMD you are quite late for the netbook competition, Intel has been dominated it for quite awhile now, good luck catching up.

Yoda8232 said:

Long overdue, needs to be priced well and perform well because of it being so late.

Recipe7 Recipe7 said:

pipopaz said:

Wow AMD you are quite late for the netbook competition, Intel has been dominated it for quite awhile now, good luck catching up.

Exactly. They will always be playing catch-up. I can't imagine when, or if, they can ever get ahead of Intel in the chip market.

seefizzle said:

I'd really like to see this chip be powerful. Give me a netbook with a 2.5 ghz processor and I'd be as happy as a f*g in a d*ck tree.

ansarimikail said:

Finally something to compete against in the netbook arena from amd. I thought they were never going to make something for the netbooks.

TJCarey said:

I'm looking forward to see if they make some mini-itx boards with this processor like intel did with the atom.

EduardsN said:

recipe7 said:

pipopaz said:

Wow AMD you are quite late for the netbook competition, Intel has been dominated it for quite awhile now, good luck catching up.

Exactly. They will always be playing catch-up. I can't imagine when, or if, they can ever get ahead of Intel in the chip market.

They are ahead in the price/performance ratio. Also the best gaming cpu in my opinion!

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

recipe7 said:

Exactly. They will always be playing catch-up. I can't imagine when, or if, they can ever get ahead of Intel in the chip market.

People were saying the same thing about nvidia/ATI only a few years ago in the video card market. All it takes is a good generation or two of chips to turn it around. For competition's sake let's hope that this does happen.

vegasrez said:

I wonder why it took them so long

Serag said:

I'm sure AMD will put some serious competition up for Intel on this.

compdata compdata, TechSpot Paladin, said:

tengeta said:

Its competition, it gives Intel a reason to improve the Atom product line... thats a win-win in my book.

Exactly - Intel has been treading water with their Atom design as they don't want it to eat into the sales of higher end CPUs. But small low powered computers are a huge part of the future so i want to see these progress as much as possible.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I want next year to come then =(

Dual core netbooks, that is what I want to see!

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Sorry, I'm not a big AMD fan so I don't know which Athlon/ATi hardware match up with the following sepcs, but what I want is Pentium 4 performance (say at 2.0 Ghz) with Nvidia GeForce 4 MX GPU capabilities. Make a low power package that matches those performance levels at a fair price and I'll buy. Toss in Windows 7 and a 10"-12" display and that's the perfect little couch machine/road warrior computer for me.

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Man AMD has a lot of catch up to do.....

But if they do get caught up competition is nothing but good for us consumers.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

This could be a win in the long run for AMD, and for consumers. Yes, they are later in the game than the competition, but that's because they concentrated on their main markets (processors and GPUs) first, then applied their now-solid synergy between AMD and ATi to the mobile marketplace. Catchup, yes. But consider the implications of the package itself: the power of new generation Intel processor (like the Pinetrail platform) with the graphics punch of an Ion2, but without the imposed bottleneck between the systems that is a result of Intel's design choices. A true, fully integrated CPU/GPU platform for mobile applications will provide speed and efficiency boosts. THIS is the kind of thing that the whole AMD acquisition of ATi was aimed at, in the long run.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I think this is only the beginning, AMD correctly identified that in future, there will be a need and market for a fusion based solution. Hence, acquisition of ATI placed them in the right position, whereas, Intel ended up having to invest heavily in Larrabee (which is infact a strange case, as far as I know, the hardware is years ahead of software development, just like it was with IA64). Anyway, in the short run I think when AMD launches that product they will have slight edge on nVidia, and things should start to hot up once Intel is able to deliver its own solution, overcoming the above stated hurdles.

However, interesting bit is, how nVidia will respond; because if the big two played out their cards rightly, and are able to deliver goods which can hold their own in the targeted segments of markets; they will be in trouble IMHO.

DryIce said:

At least there is a little progress. The whole hybrid cpu/gpu sounds like a great idea.

Chazz said:

I have a question. You say this is most likely to be their 32nm bobcat. But in their roadmap I thought the first netbook processor did not say what nm it will be. It's color code was unique. People have speculated that AMD would opt the 28nm process in order to match intel's extremely low atom pricing. Is there a new roadmap?

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

It's interesting that the first Fusion CPUs are going to be on the super low end in the CPU scale. It will be nice though to see some more options other than the Atom when it comes to netbooks. The Atom is the main reason why I haven't bought a netbook.

gary4gar said:

I hope they don't introduce a new socket, and make it compatible current AM3 sockets. That would be awesome!

boyese said:

about time AMD

techsp10 said:

This giant companies of processors have really a great competitions with each other. This time Advance Micro Devices competes to the Intel Atoms lightweight devices but I guess it is not yet too late for AMD to prove also their potential. As long as their products have great functionalities and specifications why not bying their products

jasonk1229 said:

rah rah rah go intel

Zenphic said:

Yeah, we really need something from AMD to compete against the Atom. Atom pretty much dominates the lower segment of the netbook market, but as we know the Atom is way underpowered because it is paired with sub-par Intel gpus

Geek4life said:

I think this is good news as this is a market they have not gone after but with "Bull Dozer" in the pipeline we could see a scaled down version of this in a netbook but with killer graphics than what is out there today and I do mean mean better than Ion. Again AMD has the complete solution. "The future is Fusion"

rskapadia2294 said:

intel has dominated chipset market and will continue it!

lets wait and watch what happens next! :P

Aneesh said:

Though late it is good approach from AMD,the recent intel atom processor has alot of issues.Now AMD can win the battle against Intel with good architecture.

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