More Information on AMD Ontario and Zacate APUs, Availability

A few weeks ago, there was word that AMD would be demonstrating its AMD Fusion platform at IFA in Berlin, and they have now done so. The Fusion APUs that were demonstrated will be competing with Intel’s Pineview Atom platform. The graphics portion of the Fusion platform should be quite a bit better than the integrated graphics of Pineview, and it supports DirectX 11 as well as an on-die Unified Video Decoder (UVD). The UVD portion is basically dedicated hardware video acceleration (including HD 1080p).

The important news: Netbooks/Laptops based on AMD Fusion should be available in the first quarter of 2011. AMD’s official blog states that AMD will be ramping up production in 2010.

Just to get some terms out of the way, AMD refers to the basis for the AMD Fusion platform as an APU. APU stands for Accelerated Processing Unit. Think CPU (Central Processing Unit), only now it has the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) built into it. The codename for the overall platform, and not just netbooks/laptops but desktops as well, is called “Brazos”. The APUs that are a subset of “Brazos”, that I’m interested in are called “Ontario” and “Zacate”. Both have two CPU cores, and the CPU cores are known as “Bobcat”. Confused yet?

Ontario is the one I’m most interested in. It is the APU that is targeted towards the low-voltage/low-power netbook and small form factor (SFF) desktop market. The “Zacate” APU is clocked higher, both on the CPU and on the GPU cores, and is targeted towards higher-performance ultraportables, including ultrathin, and mainstream and “value” notebooks, as well as desktops/all-in-ones. There is an even higher-performance APU, the Llano, but not much information is known about it.

Ontario specifications:
– 2x Bobcat CPU cores + GPU
– 512 KB L2 per CPU core
– CPU cores each clocked between 1GHz and 1.2GHz
– GPU core clocked at around 500MHz, supports DirectX 11
– 9 Watts TDP (Thermal Design Power)

Zacate specifications:
– 2x Bobcat CPU cores + GPU
– CPU cores clocked at 1.6GH
– GPU core clocked at around 750MHz (or lower), supports DirectX 11
– 18 Watts TDP

Read: about Ontario/Zacate – Bobcat CPUs