CPU + GPU = APU?

Posted by Aharon Etengoff

AMD has finally taken the wraps off its next-gen Fusion APU at Computex 2010.

Senior AMD VP Rick Bergman - who briefly demoed the processor - explained that the APU (Accelerated Processing Unit) combined CPU, GPU, video processing and other accelerator capabilities in a single-die design.

CPU + GPU = APU?"The Fusion Family of APUs represent a distinctly powerful processing approach to the evolving digital consumer landscape, where more than 28 billion videos are watched each month online and a thousand pictures are uploaded to social networking sites every second," said Bergman.

"This explosion in multimedia requires new applications and new ways to manage and manipulate data. Low resolution video needs to be up-scaled for larger screens, HD video must be shrunk for smart phones and home movies need to be stabilized and cleaned up for more enjoyable viewing."

Bergmann noted that the APU - which is scheduled to launch during the first half of 2011 - would prompt the "dramatic evolution" of the PC experience.

The new technology has already garnered positive reviews from a number of analysts and industry heavyweights, including Rob Enderle, president and principal analyst, Enderle Group.

"AMD's efforts to foster growth in the ecosystem will not only benefit AMD and its APU products, but I believe the computing industry can benefit from greater support for smart, innovative companies," said Enderle.



"Because the APU is based on industry standards and pervasive x86 architecture, this technology could represent significant potential market opportunities for AMD's ecosystem partners."

Microsoft corporate VP Steven Guggenheimer expressed similar sentiments.

"While visual computing has made incredible strides in recent years, we believe that the AMD Fusion family of APUs combined with Windows 7 and DirectX 11 will fundamentally change how applications are developed and used.



"Applications such as Internet browsing, watching HD video, PowerPoint and more can enable more immersive, visually rich and intuitive experiences for consumers worldwide."