AMD® chases Intel® into gadget market with embedded chips

Currently Intel is focusing on its new Atom microprocessor that will be used in various types of devices ranging from tablet computers to netbooks. AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) has also decided to follow its rival manufacturer by announcing plans of unveiling its new version of Fusion chips. As the name suggests the Fusion chips combine a processor and graphics unit in the same chip. Such smart chips are generally used in hi-fi gadgets which are not classified as computers or mobile devices. The unveiling of Fusion chips has given an indication that we will be seeing smarter Internet-connected gadgets in near future. Shane Rau, an analyst working at IDC, says that this market segment is expected to grow exponentially and the growth will be in double-digit in next five years.
AMD’s new Embedded G-Series platform will be the first candidate to use the Accelerated Processor Unit (combo chip or APU). This chip has been specifically designed for embedded systems. Embedded systems are the gadgets which cannot be considered PCs or phones. The embedded systems generally do one or two functions and cannot be programmed for executing other tasks. AMD has been providing chips such as AMD Geode processor in the embedded market since 2003. The company has continuously increased the computing power of chips that it offered in the embedded market. The chips offered specifically for embedded systems featured high performance at lower prices. The chips were of smaller size and optimized for minimal-power consumption.

The new fusion chips are targeted for diverse vertical markets which include kiosks, digital signs, thin-client computers for enterprises, cash register systems, rugged military systems, industrial controls, single-board computers, gaming machines, medical imaging, telecommunications and storage/networking devices. The new G-Series chips will allow computer manufacturers to design a computer with a 3.5-inch circuit board.

As mentioned earlier, the AMD Fusion chips combine a processor and graphics system on a single chip. The G-Series platform features two microprocessor cores, video processors of different variety, input-output functions and a controller hub dedicated for display output. AMD has lined up several supporting developer tools for this platform. AMD has mentioned that the new Fusion chips offered by them are equivalent to Intel Atom chips, but are smaller in size. This also indicates that they will consume less power and be less costly. The power-efficiency of the G-series is an added advantage that gives manufacturers the ability to develop a wide range of devices on this platform.

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