LAS VEGAS—As expected, rival microprocessor firms Intel Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) used the occasion of the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show here Wednesday (Jan. 5) to officially launch new multicore chips that combine microprocessing and graphics processing capabilities on a single die.
Intel (Santa Clara, Calif.) introduced the second generation of its Core processor family, which incorporates the company's Intel HD graphics technology for graphics performance improvement for high-definition video processing and gaming. The devices, implemented at 32-nm and featuring the second-generation of Intel's high K metal-gate technology, offer security features to protect 1080p HD content for streaming applications.
Intel previously revealed the details of the second generation Core architecture, codenamed Sandy Bridge, at the Intel Developer Forum last September.
Intel said it worked in collaboration with Hollywood and Bollywood studios as well as content distributors such as CinemaNow, Sonic Solutions, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and Warner Bros. Digital Distribution to create a protected environment for the distribution, storage and playback of premium content. This is expected to prompt content owners and video services to release more movies in high definition, according to Intel. Commercial distribution of HD premium content using the Intel Insider technology is expected to begin during the first quarter of this year, the company said.
The new devices also include a technology called Quick Sync Video, a built-in hardware acceleration that speeds up editing and sharing video, Intel said. The company said its Core i3, i5 and i7 processors also feature version 2.0 of Intel Turbo Boost technology, which automatically reallocates processor core and processor graphics resources to accelerate performance.
In all, Intel launched more than 20 processors, wireless adapters and chipsets on the eve of CES. These new products are expected to be incorporated into more than 500 laptop and desktop PC designs in the next year, according to Intel. Second-generation quad-core Core devices will be available Jan. 9, with dual-core versions coming next month, Intel said.
AMD, meanwhile, officially launched the first new chips that it terms accelerated processing units (APUs). The Fusion family of APUs are multi-core CPUs that integrate a DirectX 11-capable discrete-level graphics and parallel processing engine, a dedicated high-definition video acceleration block and a high-speed bus that speeds data across the differing types of processor cores within the design, according to the company.
AMD has previously disclosed many details of the Fusion APU architecture, codenamed Llano, including a presentation at the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco last February.
On Wednesday, AMD said new desktop PCs, notebooks and HD netbooks are now available based on Fusion APUs and that tablets and embedded designs based on the chips are expected to be available later in the first quarter. The company said it expects OEMs including Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, MSI, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba to announce plans to deliver Fusion APU-based systems.
In a statement, Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager of the AMD Products Group, described Fusion APUs as a major advancement in processing. "In one major step, we enable users to experience HD everywhere as well as personal supercomputing capabilities in notebooks that can deliver all-day battery life," he said. "It's a new category, a new approach, and opens up exciting new experiences for consumers."