At CES this week, Intel will roll out its "Sandy Bridge" processors, the next-generation Core chips. Meanwhile, AMD is expected to unveil its "Brazos" Fusion platform for laptops, netbooks and tablets.
Intel and Advanced Micro Devices will use this week's Consumer Electronics
Show to unveil long-awaited new processors that offer integrated
officials, ahead of the Jan. 5 start of CES, on Jan. 3 unveiled its "Sandy
Bridge" chips, the second generation
of Core i3, i5 and i7 chips that were first launched at the same show in 2010.
Meanwhile, AMD will unveil the first of its
Fusion APUs (accelerated processing units), via its "Brazos"
platform for such devices as lightweight laptops and netbooks.
officials have been talking about the Sandy
Bridge processors for more than a
year, making them among the key
topics during the Intel Developer Forum in September 2010. The 32-nanometer
processors, which will target mainstream desktop PCs and laptops, will offer
the graphics technology integrated onto the same silicon as the CPU, which not
only will improve such functions as high-definition video, 3D rendering and
gaming on the systems, but also improve space and cost savings and enhance the
systems' energy efficiency. Systems makers will be able to build thinner, lighter
and more power-efficiency PCs and notebooks, according to Intel.
the chips' features is Intel Insider for HD video streaming, and Quick Sync
Video for quickly transferring video computers to mobile devices.
Bridge processors, which will begin appearing in products this quarter,
integrates a wide range of features-from graphics and management to power and
computing-that usually occupy their own spaces. Intel officials have said the
company is moving away from being simply a chip maker and more toward becoming
a solutions provider, and Sandy Bridge
is an example of that effort. On board the die is not only the graphics
technology, but also such features as the memory controller and PCI-Express communications
we are very much putting together all that is required on a single piece of
silicon," David "Dadi" Perlmutter, executive vice president and
general manager of the Intel Architecture Group, said during a speech at IDF in
information about Sandy Bridge-based systems already has leaked out. For
example, reports last month indicated that some of Apple's
upcoming MacBooks will use Sandy Bridge
chips in place of Nvidia GPUs (graphics processing units).
their part, AMD officials are expected to
introduce the company's Brazos platform-with the "Ontario"
APU and accompanying chip set-aimed at
tablet PCs, netbooks and lightweight notebooks. Brazos
is part of AMD's Fusion initiative to bring
graphics and computing onto the same piece of silicon, an effort that began
when AMD bought graphics company ATI
four years ago.
the APUs AMD is rolling out this year is the
9-watt Ontario chip and the
18-watt "Zacate" processor for notebooks and desktop PCs.
on Jan. 3 rolled out a number of new ThinkPad notebooks, including one powered
by Zacate. According to Lenovo officials, the ultraportable 11.6-inch ThinkPad
X120e offers 65 percent faster graphics performance and 30 percent more
battery life over earlier models.
officials, who have gotten heat from analysts for being late bringing AMD's
Fusion products to market, have said they are pushing their APUs into systems
in the $500 range.
bringing it in at the heart of the mainstream market," Bob Grim, AMD's
director of client platform marketing, said in September, while showing off
Zacate in a demonstration in a hotel suite nearby the site of Intel's developer