AMD moves beyond speed with new APU processors:

Computer processing speeds are becoming a less important factor in computing. With our increasing dependency on web based applications and the introduction of multi-core processing, having more speed is nice but on average probably isn’t fully utilized by consumers. Yesterday I attended the Canadian launch event for AMD’s new Fusion APU (Accelerated Processing Unit) chip which directly acknowledges this trend by instead taking stab at a better graphics experience with an integrated graphics core.

Previously if you wanted solid graphics for your computer or laptop you would need to ante up some additional money for a dedicated or what’s also known as a discrete graphics card. While current processors often contain integrated graphics it would share memory resources with the processor making it much less effective. Through AMD’s APU which has an integrated processor and dedicated graphics chip all in one this situation is changed. Requiring less components and having a smaller profile allows for the creation of a (potentially) more effective machine.

Getting a view of what this technology is already capable of through AMD’s APU line I feel there is room for additional potential, the potential of things getting even smaller. Currently netbooks and tablets are underserviced when it comes to graphics capability and end up doing just basic tasks. With the opportunity of putting in a smaller APU chip, these devices can have further capabilities. While at the launch I was able to see netbooks and tablets with this new integrated chip (being able to game on a netbook rawk!), going furtherI can definitely see the potential for even smaller devices. My thinking was, what if this chip could be  adapted for today’s smartphones and visual display devices? How much better could our graphical experiences be?

With computing the way it is currently you can only get so far by focusing on creating simply a faster chip. While in the past I may have overlooked AMD, I definitely feel that it’s great that they are thinking beyond focusing on chip speed and are considering instead how they can make the experience better. A big sales push for this line of APU chips will be occurring this summer and into the fall. We’ll have to see how this new product performs against its rivals.


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