AMD Launches New Embedded Fusion Chips

AMD also reportedly is looking to sell as many as 9 million "Llano" chips for mainstream notebooks by the end of the year.

Advanced Micro Devices is rolling out two new low-power Fusion chips aimed at the embedded market that company officials say offer as much as 39 percent power savings over previous versions.

The newest members of AMD's Embedded G-Series APUs (accelerated processing units) have a thermal design power rating of 5.5 and 6.4 watts in a 361mm package, and are aimed at such fanless embedded jobs as digital signage, kiosks, mobile industrial devices and new industry-standard small form factors.

It is the third time this year that AMD has launched embedded Fusion chips. The company calls chips in the Fusion family APUs because of the graphics capabilities that are integrated onto the same piece of silicon as the CPU.

AMD announced the first of the Fusion chips-including the first embedded offerings-during the Consumer Electronics Show in January, and then again in March during the Embedded World Show 2011 in Germany.

AMD officials have targeted the highly competitive embedded space as a growth market for the company, given the increasing use of embedded systems in such areas as thin clients, digital signage, point-of-sale systems and kiosks, automobiles, telecommunications, and networking. Not only is AMD competing with traditional x86 rivals Intel and Via Technologies, but also with vendors that build chips based on designs from ARM Holdings. AMD officials in January estimated that x86 chips have about a third of what they said is a $10 billion embedded processor market.

The new single- and dual-core Embedded G-Series APUs, based on the "Bulldozer" core, offer the size and low-power consumption that is becoming increasingly important in the embedded space, according to AMD officials.

"We have seen many of our embedded customers deploy fanless systems even with our 15W TDP processors in the past. Today we take the ground-breaking AMD Fusion APU well below 7W TDP and shatter the accepted traditional threshold for across-the-board fanless enablement," Buddy Broeker, director of embedded solutions at AMD, said in a statement. "System designers can now unleash their creativity without being constrained by heat or size issues."

AMD officials announced the new chips May 23, the same day a report was published in DigiTimes in which unnamed sources said the chip vendor expects to ship 8 million to 9 million of its upcoming "Llano" APUs for mainstream notebooks through the end of the year. That includes 1.5 million in July, when systems containing the chip should start appearing, according to the report. AMD interim CEO Thomas Seifert had announced in April that the 32-nanometer Llano chips had begun shipping.

If AMD hits its goal, it will increase is market share in the PC chip market to 15 percent, according to the sources.

In addition, AMD expects to ship six Llano and four Bulldozer APUs for desktops, according to the report, which also listed prices for the chips. The pricing can be found in the DigiTimes report.