updated 01:15 am EDT, Tue August 5, 2008
AMD Fusion chip details
AMD's upcoming CPU/GPU chip will extend its portfolio of products as its rivals continue to search for new markets. On the heels of the Intel's Larrabee GPU unveiling on Monday and news of NVIDIA's upcoming integrated chip potentially finding its way into Apple's notebooks, leaks have revealed more details on AMD's Fusion "half-node" CPU/GPU combo chip -- which was in large part, one of the largest justification in AMD's acquisition of ATI. Citing industry sources, the TGDaily report indicates that AMD's half-node chip, due in Q1 of next year, will be manufactured by contract chip manufacturer TSMC, whose manufacturing headquarters on the main island of Taiwan (called Formosa). As the successor to the Puma platform, the first chip based on Fusion technology, code-named "Shrike," will integrate a dual-core Phenom CPU and an ATI RV800 GPU core, rather than the previously rumored dual-core Kuma CPU and a RV710-based graphics unit.
TGDaily reports that the delays in developmen have given AMD time to integrate its more-advanced, low-end RV800-based core, which will not only bring the advantages of the smaller 40nm process (both in terms of power consumption and die-size), but will also bring DirectX 10.1 compatibility for advanced graphics support. Furthermore, the report claims AMD will shrink the chip even more with a move to a 32nm process planned for early 2010 -- only a few quarters behind rivals Intel and IBM, both of which debuted its 32nm chips last year and expect to ship them in 2009.
Interestingly, the die-shrunk 32nm chip is only meant as a stop-gap before AMD unveils its next-generation "Bulldozer" CPU core, which will become used in the next-generation Fusion chip. The report says the Bulldozer-based combo CPU/GPU chip, code-named "Falcon," will debut using TSMC's more advanced 32nm SOI process, rather than originally planned 45nm process.