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AMD announces Fusion processors for netbooks and desktops

The processors combine a CPU and graphics processing unit on one chip

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Advanced Micro Devices on Wednesday announced Fusion processors for embedded systems as it tries to put its chips in new devices such as set-top boxes and small form factor PCs.

The G-series chips are variants of the new generation of Fusion processors for netbooks and small desktops that started shipping in early January. The processors combine a CPU and graphics processing unit on one chip.

AMD's embedded processors such as the Geode have been used in devices including One Laptop Per Child's XO laptop. The new chips will run at faster speeds and provide better graphics capabilities than its predecessors, the company said in a statement.

The chips will come in single or dual-core configurations and draw up to 9 and 18 watts of power, respectively. The processors will run at clock speeds of up to 1.6GHz.

The chips bring strong graphics capabilities and will be able to harness the parallel processing capabilities of the CPU and graphics cores to run programs faster.

The graphics processor inside the chips supports DirectX 11, which provides more realistic graphics in the Windows OS. The chip also supports OpenCL, a programming framework that enables the parallel execution of tasks across multicore processors.

Kontron on Wednesday said it would use G-series processors in embedded systems targeted at vertical markets.

Kontron said the low power consumption and strong multimedia content delivery capabilities will help in the kiosk and gaming markets. The chips could also enable new applications in areas such as radar, sonar and image recognition.

Fujitsu is embedding G-series chips in its mini-ITX boards, which are targeted at fields including medical engineering, kiosks and digital signage, said Peter Hoser, director of OEM sales and clients group at Fujitsu Technology Solutions, in a blog entry on AMD's website.

AMD will be competing in a crowded market, which includes MIPS, Intel, ARM and Via. Intel is targeting the embedded market with its Atom processors, which are now being used in ATMs, TVs, set-top boxes and cars.



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