AMD previews Brazos platform, first Fusion APUs

By on November 9, 2010, 6:45 AM
AMD recently disclosed some fresh details about the Brazos platform that will put the first Fusion chips into low power systems early next year. In case you need a refresher, the Brazos architecture incorporates the "Bobcat" core design, which itself will be integrated into two processors known as Zacate and Ontario. Both of these chips are very low power units (18 and 9W TDP, respectively) and are targeted for sub-$500 ultraportable, netbook and nettop systems.

Both parts are manufactured using TSMC's 40-nm fab process and besides packing one or two Bobcat cores each, they also boast a GPU component with video decoding logic, a single-channel DDR3 memory controller, and a "platform interface" block with PCI Express lanes and display outputs. The Hudson Fusion Controller Hub (FCH) makes up for the remaining part of the two-chip Brazos platform and provides additional I/O connectivity.

As for the actual launch lineup, AMD has four SKUs in the pipeline: Zacate takes the top two spots with the dual-core E-350 running at 1.6GHz and single-core E-240 clocked at 1.5GHz. Both pack a Radeon HD 6310 graphics processing unit featuring 80 cores clocked at 500MHz. Meanwhile, Ontario comes in the form of the dual-core C-50 and single-core C-30. Conversely, these lower-power chips run at 1.0 and 1.2GHz, respectively, and feature a 280MHz Radeon HD 6250 GPU.

AMD has imposed a momentary embargo on benchmark numbers but those who were present at the demonstration in the company’s Austin offices are nonetheless free to talk performance in more general terms. From the looks of it, AMD might have some very competitive entries in the mainstream and ultraportable notebook markets. Low-end APUs like the C-30 probably won’t put the Atom N450 to shame in terms of raw CPU performance, but AMD will surely have a leg up when it comes to graphics and video decoding – we’re curious to see how this affects power consumption levels.

The video above, courtesy of Legit Reviews, shows an AMD E-350 APU (Accelerated Processing Unit) with AMD Radeon HD 6310 graphics on-board running Hyper-Pi 32M on both x86 CPU cores, a high-performance computing application on the GPU compute engine and third-gen Unified Video Decoder (UVD) playing 1080p video content all at the same time.


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