AMD shows low-power C-50 Fusion chip for tablets

By on February 1, 2011, 8:00 AM
AMD's Fusion platform is gaining a few backers among computer manufacturers for bringing solid performance and graphics to thin and light laptops without having to sacrifice too much battery life. But as you probably have already noticed, tablets are the rising stars of the market and the Sunnyvale chip designer wants as piece of the action.

To that end the company recently showed off a low-power 5W version of their C-50 APU. The dual-core chip had been previously announced as a netbook part with a TDP of 9W, which is comparable to Intelís Atom N550 (8.5W), only the C-50 comes with built-in Radeon HD graphics. AMD was able to cut back on power consumption by removing some of the capabilities of the memory controller - including support for higher capacities - and trimming the I/O capabilities to one port of each type. But the low-power C-50 APU will reportedly perform identically to its full-fledged counterpart.

According to X-bit Labs, Acer will be the first OEM to get its hands on the tweaked silicon for use in an upcoming Windows-based tablet, and it remains to be seen if other manufacturers will follow. Even 5W is still rather high for tablets but this might serve as a temporary solution until AMD's tablet specific (code-named Wichita) chips hit the scene sometime in 2012. Whether the x86 architecture catches on in the tablet market is another question.

User Comments: 3

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Jibberish18 said:

I wonder how the C-50 compares to something such as the Tegra 2 chip in terms of Graphics and Processing performance? I mention the Tegra 2 since it has a pretty powerful GPU with the Dual Core Cortex A9.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I was wondering the same thing, @Jibberish18. Will be interesting once the comparative reviews start hitting, putting the best low-power showings from Intel, AMD, and ARM/nVidia up against each other.

But, I can imagine that it's very difficult to truly compare platform to platform. It's not like the PC world, where you can have fairly standardized sets of hardware to use across the board, which makes it more of a true component test. These low-power systems have very different support electronics and packaging, which I would assume makes a true head-to-head comparison challenging.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

For starter you cant compare (head to head at least) a fusion chip to a cpu+video. You cant compare it price or performance wise because its not the same component market, however we will soon find out the differences.

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