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AMD previews Bobcat chip, claims speed edge over Atom

updated 01:50 pm EST, Tue November 9, 2010

AMD shows Bobcat APU chips, says faster than Atom

At a recent event to which it invited HardOCP, AMD has revealed more specs on its upcoming Brazos architecture chips, including the Bobcat. The chips are further divided into Ontario and Zacate codenames, both of which are ultra low power units meant for notebooks and desktops priced at under $500. The chips are from the Fusion family, meaning they have both a CPU and a GPU on the same die.

AMD will divide these chips under its Vision branding, ranging from Vision on the bottom end of scale, through Premium Vision, Ultimate Vision and Black Vision. Zacate chips have 18W thermal peak power and will fall under the basic Vision brand. They are meant for basic tasks like watching online videos and browsing but will be an alternative to Intel's Atom that could reduce power usage without a hit on performance.

The Bobcat/Ontario/Zacate specs released during the meeting include 64KB of L1 cache per core, split evenly between instruction and data, and 512KB of L2 cache per core. All will support up to 1066MHz of regular and low-power DDR3 RAM, and include hardware video decoding. The sample PC (shown below)) used two Bobcat cores at 1.6GHz and a DX11, 5000 class GPU with 80 shaders. Initial, limited tests revealed peak power that never exceeded 20W. While details are embargoed, the system performed well during playback of 720p HD video. Playing Crysis revealed that the system can handle it at low settings that include 720p resolution.

Brazos is not meant to keep up with Intel, AMD said, but will instead focus on boosting graphics performance.

The Zacate processors include a dual-core AMD E-350 CPU with AMD Radeon HD 6310 GPU Graphics at 1.6GHz and dual DirectX 11 SIMD (single instruction, multiple data) units at 500MHz. Also coming are the single-core, 1.5GHz AMD E-240 with Radeon HD 6310 graphics at the same 500MHz speed.

The two Ontario chips include a dual-core 1.0GHz AMD C-50 tied to an AMD Radeon HD 6250 GPU with its two SIMDs clocked at 280MHz. The other is made up of a dual-core 1.2GHz AMD C-30 with an AMD Radeon HD 6250 GPU, again at the same speed. These consume a much lower 9W of power.

By Electronista Staff
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