AMD fast on Fusion, but hesitant with tablets

AMD's first Fusion chips will appear in netbooks and low-end laptops

Advanced Micro Devices is ahead of schedule with its upcoming Fusion chips, which will appear first in netbooks and low-end laptops early next year, but not in tablets, the company said on Thursday.

Interest from customers pushed AMD to accelerate the development of a low-power Fusion chip code-named Ontario, which the company will start shipping for revenue in the fourth quarter, AMD CEO Dirk Meyer said during a conference call to discuss the company's earnings.

"The timeline for Ontario has changed dramatically," Meyer said.

The company showed in June the first chips based on the Fusion architecture, which combines CPU and GPU (graphics processing unit) cores in the same chip. The Ontario Fusion chip has two x86 processor cores and a DirectX 11 GPU chip.

Ontario should make AMD more competitive in areas such as netbooks, which are currently dominated by Intel. The chip will bring improved graphics to devices that have smaller screens and consume little power, Meyer said.

"It'll position well against Atom," he said.

Intel's Atom chips for netbooks include integrated graphics chips but still have been criticized for poor graphics performance. An integrated DirectX 11-capable processor should allow playback of full 1080p video on small screens.

Ontario won't be targeted at tablets for now, however, Meyer said. The tablet market is not mature and the company wants to focus on more established areas, he said. Executives hinted, however, that the chip could eventually reach tablets when the market starts to ripen.

Intel already makes Atom chips for tablets, and Nvidia offers the Tegra 2 for tablets. Both see tablets as a new way to generate revenue. Apple is the major supplier of tablets with its iPad, which uses an internally developed chip with an Arm design.

AMD is also developing a Fusion chip code-named Llano for consumer laptops and desktops. The company has not changed the timing for Llano's release, which will be sometime next year, AMD spokesman Drew Prairie said via e-mail. He did not provide a specific release date.

Ontario will be manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. using a 40-nanometer manufacturing process. It will not be made by GlobalFoundries, AMD's manufacturing spin-off in which it holds a stake.

"As part of the new cross-license agreement we reached with Intel late last year ... there are no limitations on where we can manufacture our products," Prairie wrote.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags processorsAMDhardware systemstablet PCslaptopspc componentsComponentsAMD FusionAdvanced Micro Devices

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?