AMD says APU is leap forwards
APU combines CPU and GPU capabilities to create faster and more efficient computing
AMD's new Fusion processor, the APU (accelerating processor unit) is a huge leap forward in the computing world, according to Chekib Akrout, senior vice president and general manager, Technology Group, AMD.
Due to the rapidly changing computer use landscape, from running spreadsheets and word applications to becoming more experiential and interactive, with home entertainment and gaming devices, AMD has created a fusion of the GPU and CPU which enhances computing speed and application running capability and, at the same time, saves power.
"What part AMD plays in this new environment is what we call the Fusion APU we are bringing the CPU and the GPU back together, the Fusion is done in such a way that we can run much more computing capability with the best power management possible and leverage the GPU not just to do graphics but as a parallel computing entity," said Akrout.
Global computing is moving towards a combination of mobility and cloud computing and this will have a significant impact on how the computer will evolve, according to Akrout.
"From AMD's perspective we provide the engine of those computers. We are going to continue innovating on the APU, we are going to keep improving the performance of the APU and, at the same time provide the most power efficient computer that power will allow. We are extremely well positioned with a very good CPU on one side and the best GPU on the other side to really play a big role in the future," he said.
Akrout says that future computing is going to lean more towards parallel computing, with multiple cores in multiple processors, rather than sequential computing.
"Many of these workloads and applications coming ahead of us are going to be more oriented to parallel computing than the sequential, I am not saying the sequential will disappear, that it is going to continue being there. Parallel is more the essence of some modern applications like video or graphics, but there are much more possibilities there than anything we know how to do in sequential computing. APU is really going to be the future of many of these new generations of computing you are going to see in the future," said Akrout.
AMD says its APU system is opening a door to another era of computing and computing capability, a step up from the first era of megahertz and multi-core processors.
"Heterogeneous computing is one way to think about it, where any applications you want to run, you almost have to have a dedicated capable processor to run that app in the most optimum way, so if you want to run graphics, you don't want to run graphics on a CPU you run it on a GPU, if you want to run parallel apps, you don't run it on the CPU, even though you can, but you run it on a GPU where you turn it into computing. That heterogeneous kind of computing we are going to see more and more. We will have video accelerators; we will have security accelerator hardware dedicated to that. Now you open yourself to much, much more capability than ever we had before and I am not sure how much people really realise how much of a breakthrough APU can really make," said Akrout.
According to AMD, its APU system development is focusing on increasing power capabilities and reducing electricity bills.
"Across the world, power is a huge factor to any CIO building his data centres or building his servers, or even for you and your netbook, and how much battery life you have.. In our research and development, we spend more energy on how to manage the power and how to reduce power than we do to increase pure performance. That is the future and that is what we really need to bring to the market," said Akrout.