AMD Slide Suggests Apple Will Embrace Fusion APUs

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A slide from an AMD presentation during the company’s annual Analyst Day suggests rather strongly that Apple will be embracing the company’s Fusion APU platform in upcoming iMacs and Mac Pro models. AMD has since said that neither company has made an announcement, but if the slides are based on a behind-the-scenes agreement, rather than wishful thinking, it would mark a big win for AMD and a significant shift away from Intel for Apple.

Fusion is a next generation processing platform that combines a CPU and GPU on one die. In particular, Fusion supports OpenCL, a 3D rendering technology Apple initially developed (it was turned over to the Khronos Group and is now an open standard). Fusion’s graphics performance is reportedly impressive, and its small footprint and low power requirements could be attractive to Apple.

The fuss over Fusion came about during AMD’s Analyst Day, when a presentation by AMD Senior VP and Chief Sales Officer Emilio Ghilardi included a presentation with a series of slides showing what appears to be partner companies that have come on board for Fusion. According to a post from Fudzilla, which first reported the event, Mr. Ghilardi didn’t talk during the slides, and told his audience he was simply going to, “flash through them very quickly.”

Lo and behold, but there’s the Apple logo!

AMD Slide

And look, there it is again!

AMD Slide

We should note, however, that Apple hasn’t announced such a plan, and we all know how Apple likes to control its product messages, which may be why AMD was quick to tell Fudzilla (after its article went out) that, “Neither Apple nor AMD have made any announcements regarding Fusion in any future Apple product.”

Or it could be that AMD included Apple only as a broader partner, and not necessarily a Fusion partner. The two companies do work together in making Mac-compatible Radeon video cards. In fact, readers with long memories will remember that AMD bought ATI to get its GPU business and technologies under AMD’s control, and that it was ATI that got itself fired as an Apple supplier (for a short time) after spilling the beans on a new line of Power Macs that Apple hadn’t announced yet.

If Apple were to use Fusion in its desktop line (as the slide suggests), or in its portable line (where the above considerations may be even more attractive), it would mean turning away from Intel, a company that has worked very, very closely with Apple since the company moved its Mac line away from PowerPC.

Since that time, Intel has allowed Apple to be the first to introduce several Intel processors and other products. Apple moving to AMD could play a role in that relationship.

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5 Comments Leave Your Own

dhp

I’m certain this will happen, probably with new iMacs in January. Why? Because I just bought a new iMac. Last time I bought a new iMac was in the fall of 2005, right before the Intel iMacs were released. So now in a years or so I will be seeing AMD-only apps rolling out.

(BTW, I’m being only partially serious.)

Radovich

Apple likes to used the outstanding technology in their products. The low-technology things like app is openning to 3rd-party companies like iFunia and Aneesoft.

ken

Ridiculous speculation.  Can’t AMD have a few slides representing their ATI/Apple relationship?  You guys need need to take a chill pill and stop assuming that every mention of Apple by AMD means that Apple is developing a Fusion product.

Remember, Intel paid Dell, HP and others BILLIONS to keep them from using AMD products.  You can bet that Apple doesn’t mind that sort of secret payment lining their cash horde. 

Again, TAKE A CHILL PILL!  It ain’t happenin’!

Kenh

Remember how it was revealed that Intel bribed Dell with 1-billion dollars in a single year to keep Dell from using AMD processors? 

That was when Dell was king of the computer manufacturer hill.  After Dell’s business model started to fail, Intel found the new king, Apple. 

So… you can bet that Apple either receives secret payments or free processors in exchange for not using AMD cpus or APUs.  Steve Jobs is not Ghandi, guys.  His job is not to get Intel to behave ethically.  His job is ultimately to innovate and grow Apple. 

No, a slide with Apple’s logo on it means that AMD is glad that Apple likes their graphics products.  AND NO NO NO, Apple is not going to give up Intel’s bribe money for a few Fusion processors. 

Even HP was afraid to accept 10,000 FREE PROCESSORS from AMD for fear of Intel’s wrath. 

Might is right, as least in the computer industry.

Windsor Smith

Mr. Chaffin, I think you’re confusing OpenCL, or Open Computing Language, with OpenGL, or Open Graphics Library. Yes, AMD’s Fusion family of chips will support OpenCL, and, yes, OpenCL was originally developed by Apple and then turned over to the Khronos Group. But OpenCL’s purpose is to allow software developers to easily use GPUs for general-purpose computing, not just graphics rendering.

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