At the AMD Fusion Developer Summit – short AFDS – in Bellevue, Washington AMD didn’t hesitate to highlight the advantages of their Fusion technology. Rick Bergman, Senior Vice President and General Manager at AMD, entered the stage and summed up how the company went from the merger with ATI in 2006 to delivering a combined CPU and GPU in a single piece of silicon in the present.

AMD hits hard at Intel in terms of computing power; promises 10TFLOPS APU by 2020

AMD hits hard at Intel in terms of computing power; promises 10TFLOPS APU by 2020

According to Rick Bergman, looking back to almost 30 years of industry experience, "this is the biggest change in the microprocessor industry". He touted how heterogeneous computing has become important and will dominate the market for the next 10 – 20 years. While now with the launch of the Llano based APUs, AMD offers 400+ GFLOPs in a notebook form factor. In the next year with Trinity, this figure should increase by 50%. By 2020 the company plans to offer 10 TeraFLOPs in the same form factor. Bergman highlights that less than 10 years ago, that was the compute capacity of the fastest supercomputer in the world.

Rick Bergman shows prototype notebook running first silicon of 2012 APU codenamed Trinity, APU that combines next-gen Bulldozer CPU architecture with Cayman-class GPU (Northern Islands)

Rick Bergman shows prototype notebook running first silicon of 2012 APU. Codenamed Trinity, chip combines next-gen Bulldozer CPU architecture with Cayman-class GPU (Northern Islands architecture)

After the rather boring move of holding an engineering sample of Trinity into the cameras of the assembled press at Computex in Taipei two weeks ago, at its own conference they had a little surprise ready. Rick Bergman demonstrated a working pre-production sample of Trinity in a notebook. The notebook was running Windows 7 and demonstrated playback of HD video. According to Bergman, the first silicon arrived in their labs a few weeks ago and there is still a lot of work to do. He also disconnected the device from the power cord to demonstrate that it is indeed a notebook. Anything beyond was not revealed though.

Technically Trinity combines AMDs current CPU technology found in the upcoming AMD FX processors based on the Bulldozer core architecture as well as a Cayman-based VLIW4 GPU. The chip will be manufactured on GlobalFoundries 32nm SOI process and is slated for 2012. Similar to Llano, AMD aims for shipments and launch in the second quarter of the next year. The demonstration of a working engineering sample is a nice media gimmick, but truth to be told it doesn’t say a lot about the product other than that development is on track. At the beginning of May, Intel did something similar with showing off early samples of their upcoming 22nm Ivy Bridge chip, which even ran some 3D games.

Mr. Bergman also noted, that AMD already shipped millions of APUs and by the end of the year this figure will grow to tens of millions. He added, that by this time next year, 90% of AMD microprocessors will be APUs and that’s a strong market shift in that direction.