AMD delays Fusion processor to 2011

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Sunnyvale (CA) – In a rather unexpected announcement, AMD today said that it shelved the development of its 2010 Fusion with 45 nm Shrike core and decided to introduce the Fusion concept with the 2011 Llano CPU and a 32 nm core. AMD also announced five new processors including a quad-core notebook CPU and the "Orochi" desktop processor with “more than” four Bulldozer cores.

The presentation of AMD senior vice president Randy Allen and the company’s Financial Analyst Day today was centered around the manufacturer’s belief that “must win in the mainstream and value segments” as well as in “consumer and small and medium business segments.” Of course there was a lot of focus on today’s launch of the 45 nm Shanghai Opteron processor and Allen used the opportunity to side swipe Intel with the note that this is the “best server processor on the planet” (as opposed to Intel’s claim that Core i7 is the “fastest processor on the planet”), but the big news certainly came out of AMD’s desktop and mobile product roadmap.

The 45 nm Fusion processor, initially promised as a 2009 chip and then moved into 2010 is essentially cancelled. The chip, which was described to combine a CPU and GPU under one hood in the “Shrike” core, was found to only bring modest improvements over today’s platforms in terms of power efficiency, cost and performance. Instead, the company will introduce Fusion (which actually isn’t called Fusion anymore) as a 2011 model in a 32 nm version with Llano core. Allen said that 32 nm would be the right technology to introduce the product. Llano will feature four cores, 4 MB of cache, DDR3 memory support and an integrated GPU.

The first 32 nm desktop processor from AMD will be the 2011 “Orochi”, a Bulldozer-core based CPU with more than four cores. Allen noted that AMD will be producing 32 nm processors in 2010, but the “wave of products” will appear in the 2011 timeframe – which suggests that AMD will not be able to close the manufacturing gap with Intel in that generation, if Intel is able to deliver 32 nm processors as planned in 2009.  

The first 32 nm mobile processor from AMD will be “Ontario”, also built with integrated graphics following the original Fusion concept. The CPU will have two cores, 1 MB of cache and DDR3 memory support.

For 2009 and 2010, AMD will fill up its 45 nm product lines with the upcoming “Deneb” processor for the enthusiast desktop, which will be complemented with the “Propos”, a scaled down version for the mainstream desktop. AMD also announced four new mobile processors – two for the mainstream notebook and two for ultra-portables. “Caspian” will be AMD’s first 45 nm mobile processor and aim for mainstream notebooks. It will be replaced with “Champlain”, which offers DDR3 support, in 2010. For ultra-portables, AMD announced the 45 nm “Conesus” for 2009 and the 45 nm “Geneva” with DDR3 support for 2010. AMD did not announce new server/workstation products beyond the 6-core Istanbul and 8/12-core Magny-Cours and Sao Paulo CPUs that are scheduled for a 2009/2010 introduction.