Posts Tagged ‘amd’
Rival processor makers Intel and AMD may not agree on much, but they are of one mind about the future of the venerable VGA graphics port: it doesn’t have one. The two chipmakers are joined by Dell, Lenovo, Samsung, and LG in an industry-spanning agreement to phase out VGA entirely by 2015, and to standardize solely on HDMI and DisplayPort.
“DisplayPort and HDMI allow for slimmer laptop designs, and support higher resolutions with deeper color than VGA—a technology which is more than 20 years old,” the companies wrote in a joint press release. “Additionally, as laptops get smaller and their embedded flat panel resolutions increase for more immersive experiences, the power advantages, bidirectional communications and design efficiency benefits of DisplayPort make it a superior choice over LVDS, the previous standard for LCD panel inputs.”
LVDS will be gone from Intel’s products by 2013, with VGA following in 2015. AMD is following a similar timetable in phasing out the two technologies.
“Newer standards such as DisplayPort and HDMI clearly provide the best connectivity options moving forward,” said AMD’s Eric Demers. “In our opinion, DisplayPort 1.2 is the future interface for PC monitors, along with HDMI 1.4a for TV connectivity.”
Part of the impetus for the depreciation of VGA is the ongoing push for 3D displays in both TV and PC markets. On the TV front, the 3D panels require the latest HDMI spec, with its support for more bandwidth. And in PCs, GPU makers and monitor makers would both like to see gamers don shutter glasses and make the jump to true 3D gaming. Indeed, even in the handheld space, parallax barrier technology will bring 3D(sans glasses) to the smallest displays this coming year.
Of course, whether consumers care as much about 3D as device makers do is an open question. Sales of 3D panels have been disappointing so far, and all the major 3D TV makers are bracing for a lackluster holiday season. But if the public does decide to take the 3D plunge at some point, at least they won’t have a legacy graphics port holding them back.
For the third time in 2010, AMD is adding more speed to its processor lineup. But this time, both the Athlon II and Phenom II CPUs are being included. We spill the beans about the new dual-, triple-, quad-, and hexa-core chips in today’s article.
It’s no secret that we’re on the verge of seeing a whole new generation of processors from the AMD/Intel duopoly. Bobcat, Bulldozer, and Sandy Bridge are some of the processor architectures the chip giants will introduce between now and the second half of 2011. From what we’ve already seen and heard, these new designs are going to be real game-changers.
However, months are like years when it comes to technology, and product refreshes are always welcome when they bring more performance to the table. We’ve already seen mobile-based demos of AMD’s upcoming technology, but there has been little indication of how the company’s new desktop parts will perform. Until that happens, we’re left to play with existing Phenom II and Athlon II models. Similarly, though Intel talked a big game at IDF, its Gulftown-, Lynnfield-, and Clarkdale-based processors remain the only viable competition for anything AMD launches today. We’ll have to wait for late 2010 to get a more concrete indication of how Sandy Bridge fits into the market.
AMD has delivered speed bumps across the Athlon II line twice this year, and the company is doing it one more time with six new processors released today. But it’s not just the Athlon II lineup that AMD is updating this time. We’re getting the first new quad-core Phenom II in just over a year, and we even have our hands on a fresh Phenom II X6.
Before we get into the benchmarks of these speed-bumped chips, let’s dig a little deeper into their technical specifications.
Intel isn’t the only chipmaker to have a record first quarter—AMD’s Q1 revenue of $1.57 billion set a first-quarter record for the company. Like Intel, AMD saw a huge boost in year-over-year processor shipments, and an average sales price jump as well. But the CPU unit’s 23 percent year-over-year jump was nothing compared to the GPU division’s 88 percent year-over-year increase. Average sales prices jumped as well, as did shipments of mobile GPUs. Clearly, it’s good to have the top GPU on the block.
In addition to the general PC market rebound and the strength of its smaller, more focused product mix, AMD also benefited from the fact that this was the company’s first quarter to fully reflect the deconsolidation of the Globalfoundries spinoff, and it’s the first full quarter after the chipmaker’s settlement with Intel. Free from its fab burden, its legal battles, and the effects of some of the practices that Intel agreed not to engage in, the company looks to have turned itself around, at least initially.
It remains to be seen how far AMD’s Fusion strategy will take it—this is partly because certain elements of the strategy are unclear, and partly because some of the elements that are clear are new and risky enough that they may not work. The company’s upcoming high-end Bulldozer core is a departure from anything else that’s out there, and its Llano mobile part is a bit of a gamble that this level of GPU/CPU integration at this early of a stage will really pay off. Still, if the IT rebound holds together, things look better now for AMD than they have in quite a few years.