At a press conference in Taipei earlier today, AMD conducted its first public demonstration of Fusion silicon in action. AMD's CPU-GPU hybrid was supposed to debut last year, but it has since been pushed back until 2011. According to AMD General Manager Rick Bergman, Fusion is on track to keep that revised schedule and is set to arrive in the first half of next year.
Fusion will hit the market in two forms. The Llano APU is targeted at mainstream markets and will feature four cores and 4MB of L2 cache, while the Ontario APU will offer two cores and just 1MB of L2 cache. Ontario isn't a cut-down version of Llano with fewer cores; it's a design specifically tailored for low power consumption and ultraportable systems.
Bergman told the crowd Llano and Ontario are both sampling now and being demoed to customers behind closed doors. He then opened those doors for the audience, demoing a "low power" APU that we presume is early Ontario silicon. The APU was shown first running a Aliens vs. Predator in DirectX 11 mode and then doing some nifty hardware acceleration in Internet Explorer. A video of the press conference is embedded below; fast-forward to the 59-minute mark to see the demo.
The onus will be on software makers to take advantage of the computational resources that Fusion APUs offer. To help spur development, AMD has announced the Fusion Fund. The accompanying press release provides little detail beyond confirming that the fund is designed to "further advance an ecosystem that promotes CPU and GPU collaborative computing." A blog post by Fusion marketing director John Taylor adds that AMD is open to working with everyone from start-ups and entrepreneurs to software design firms and component manufacturers. Those interested can already apply for funding on the Fusion Fund website.