AMD Fusion Chip Offers Graphics Features Intel Lacks

Tagged: AMD Fusion, Computer Hardware, Technology
Source: businessweek.com - Read the full article
Posted: 4 years 28 weeks ago

Advanced Micro Devices Inc., the second-biggest computer-processor maker, will unveil the first working versions of its Fusion line of chips in a bid to offer graphics features that rival Intel Corp. can’t easily match.

The Fusion lineup, which combines a microprocessor and a graphics processor in one piece of silicon, will appear in personal computers early next year, said Rick Bergman, a senior vice president at Sunnyvale, California-based AMD.

AMD is trying to tap its graphics division, acquired in the purchase of ATI Technologies Inc., to bring better visuals to a broader range of PCs, including laptops. The new products also provide a chance to show investors that the ATI acquisition is finally paying off. The 2006 deal saddled AMD with debt and contributed to three consecutive annual losses.

“Fusion was painted as the ultimate goal of the acquisition,” Bergman said in an interview. “We’re going to show why we think Fusion processors are so compelling.”

Consumers are demanding movie playback and better Web browsing from portable computers, increasing the need for more powerful processors. Fusion will pack high-performance graphics into chips that fit easily into slim computers, without requiring heavy batteries, Bergman said.

His team plans to give demonstrations today of computers using Fusion to handle faster Web browsing and run games from Microsoft Corp. at the Computex Show in Taiwan. Samples of the chips have already been given to computer manufacturers, Bergman said.

AMD competes with Nvidia Corp. in making graphics chips for PC add-in cards, which gamers use to boost performance. While Santa Clara, California-based Intel is the biggest manufacturer of graphics chips, it doesn’t sell them as stand-alone products, only as part of other products. Last week, Intel confirmed that it has given up trying to develop a chip for the graphics-card market.

AMD shares fell 43 cents, or 5 percent, to $8.14 at 4 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange trading. They have declined 16 percent this year.