Advanced Micro Devices is rolling out updated versions of the company's Fusion C-series and E-series chips that promise better high-definition graphics, more processing horsepower and longer battery life in next-generation laptops and desktop PCs.
The new accelerated processor unit (APU) offerings also integrate DisplayPort ++ support to enable computer owners to connect their machines to a wide array of compatible monitors and TVs.
Combining the central processing unit (CPU) and graphics processing unit (GPU) onto a single die, AMD's Fusion C-series and E-series chips have sold well since their debut in January of this year, according to the chipmaker.
AMD has shipped nearly 12 million APUs to date, and sold more than 5 million C-series and E-Series APUs in this year's second quarter alone.
AMD Vice President Chris Cloran said consumers were looking for fast and brilliant HD streaming video, sharp photos, lifelike gaming through powerful DirectX11-capable, discrete-level graphics, and all-day battery life.
"That's what AMD Fusion APUs deliver," Cloran said. "With these new APUs, we're bringing premium features to entry-level products that let users get a richer computing experience."
Extended Battery Life
The semiconductor industry's move to heterogeneous computing architectures -- under which calculations more suited for the GPU are offloaded from the CPU -- has already provided significant performance improvements and faster computing for many applications.
By combining both the CPU and GPU on a single die, AMD has been able to reduce the data-processing bottlenecks that occurred with dual-chip designs.
AMD Chief Marketing Officer Nigel Dessau said the company's family of Fusion APUs already had helped AMD realize a 57 percent year-on-year increase in notebook design wins from OEM partners such as Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Sony, Samsung and Toshiba.
For example, the Lenovo ThinkPad x120e featuring AMD's original Fusion E-series APU "was one of the top selling commercial notebooks among distributors targeting small and medium businesses, exceeding demand forecasts," Dessau wrote in a blog.
With the new C and E series chip upgrades, one goal is to further enhance the performance of hardware-accelerated software offerings such as Office, Adobe Flash Player and Internet Explorer 9 in netbooks, laptops and desktop PCs, AMD said. Another aim is to extend battery life in ultra-thin notebook designs.
According to AMD, Fusion C-Series devices are capable of delivering up to 10.5 hours of resting battery life, while E-series chips extend battery life to a maximum of 12 hours. Additionally, AMD's refreshed APU lineup now offers support for DDR3 1333 memory chips, which consume at least 15 percent less power in comparison with standard voltage DDR3 devices while also reducing latency.
AMD's upgraded Fusion chips offer support for DisplayPort ++ -- a royalty-free digital display interface standard primarily used to connect a video source to computer monitors and television sets. That ensures that machines integrating AMD's new APUs are capable of directly emitting single-link DVI or HDMI signals.
Moreover, the refreshed Fusion C-series and E-series chips support the requisite HDMI 1.4a connections for enabling consumers to view 3D snapshots and 3D home video on their 3D-enabled TVs and displays. The HDMI 1.4a specification released in March of last year adds two additional mandatory 3D formats for broadcast content to the older HDMI 1.4 standard, which did not offer support for 3D.
Computers based on AMD's refreshed APUs -- which are identifiable from their "VISION Technology from AMD" or "HD Internet" stickers -- are available beginning Monday from leading PC manufacturers, the chip maker said.