AMD postpones 'Fusion' to 2011, rethinks mobile roadmap


— 1:22 PM on November 13, 2008

Say goodbye to Shrike and hello to Caspian, Conesus, Champlain, and Geneva. AMD showed its latest desktop and notebook roadmap during its ongoing Financial Analyst Day presentation this morning, and it looks like the company has fundamentally rethought its plans for the mobile space.

You might recall the Shrike notebook platform AMD announced at its 2007 Financial Analyst Day almost a year ago. Shrike was supposed to arrive in 2009 and bring Swift, the first 'Fusion' processor that would feature x86 cores with a graphics processor in the same package. Although AMD has since kicked off a new marketing campaign around the concept of fusion, it has scrapped Shrike from its latest roadmap and postponed the arrival of CPU-GPU hybrids until 2011.

According to AMD, the real sweet spot for "accelerated processing units" that couple GPU and CPU cores will be at the 32nm node, where it expects to deliver optimal performance per watt. In the meantime, the company has four new mobile CPUs in the pipeline.

The first two of those chips, Conensus and Caspian, will both come out next year and feature two cores and DDR2 memory support. The former will debut in the second half of 2009 in a new Yukon platform aimed at ultra-portable notebooks and "mini-notebooks," while the Caspian-powered Tigris platform will follow in the second half of the year and target mainstream laptops.

AMD will follow up in 2010 with Geneva and Champlain. Both CPUs will support DDR3 memory, and Champlain will deliver four processing cores to mainstream notebooks. Like Conesus, Geneva will hit ultraportables and mini-notebooks in a ball-grid-array package, meaning it should be soldered directly onto system boards. Since both Conesus and Geneva will feature two cores and slip into ultraportables, AMD may be targeting them at Intel's ultra-low-voltage Core 2 processors rather than Atom-based systems.

AMD has also given the public the first glimpse of its 32nm roadmap. The new Bulldozer architecture will finally hit desktops in 2011 with Orochi, a 32nm enthusiast CPU with more than four cores, over 8MB of cache, and DDR3 memory support. AMD talked about Bulldozer in the summer of 2007, saying it would see the light of day in 2009 as part of Falcon GPU-CPU chimeras and Sandtiger server processors with up to 16 cores. The architecture mysteriously disappeared from subsequent roadmaps, though, and our queries about it were left unanswered.

On the enterprise side of things, the server roadmap AMD showed this morning was the same one it revealed way back in May. AMD still plans Istanbul, Magny-Cours, and Sao Paulo server CPUs over the next couple of years. You can probably count on Bulldozer-based server chips following in 2011 around the same time as Orochi, but we didn't hear AMD say anything about that.

   
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