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AMD Fusion ( Ontario and Llano) Processor – review, FAQ

With intel preparing for the next generation Sandy Bridge processors, AMD is honing its Fusion chips  to fight back, backed by its amalgamation  with ATI,  the GPU giant. Familiarize yourself with the forthcoming AMD Fusion chips and update yourself with the  latest in the technology.

Q. What is the most important architectural feature of the AMD fusion chip.

A. The most significant feature of the fusion is obviously going to be the integration of the ATI’s GPU into the AMD’s CPU. The two are going to reside on a single die. This is unlike some of the intel ix series processors where the GPU and the CPUs reside on separate cores, although on the same package. This is expected to significantly boost the performance. The ATI’s expertise in the GPU area is going to significantly improve AMD’s standing.

Q. Which processor from the Intel is going to be the AMD’s  Fusion competitor.

A. Intel is preparing its Sandy Bridge processor and it will be interesting to see the competition between the two. AMD seems to have taken advantage on the GPU area with its integration of ATI. AMD also relies on the price performance ratio where it matches by lowering the price to make up its lack of CPU performance.

Q. What is APU or Accelarates Processing Unit.

A. With the the merger of the CPU and the GPU, AMD has give a new name to the single die that contains the two – it is now called APU or the Accelarated Processing Unit. According to AMD – “Fusion delivers powerful CPU and GPU capabilities for HD, 3D and data-intensive workloads in a single-die processor called an APU”.

Q. So what are Llano and Ontario ?

A. Llano and Ontario are the codenames for the two variants of the Fusion. The Llano is expected to have an integrated PCIe 2.0 controller, a dual channel DDR3-1600 memory controller. It will also have  and 1MB L2 cache per core. Ontario is aimed at netbooks, tablets and other low-power devices and is more of a System on Chip.

Q. When is fusion chip expected to launch ?

A. Llano ( the mainstream) chips is expected to ship in the first half of the 2011. The Ontario  are expected to ship earlier.  The Ontario (for netbooks, tablets) are expected to ship in the 4Q of 2010.

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