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AMD ditches Fusion branding

AMD ditches Fusion branding

AMD's Fusion branding is no more, to be replaced by the 'Heterogeneous Systems Architecture.'

AMD has announced that it plans to rebrand its Fusion System Architecture (FSA) to the Heterogeneous Systems Architecture, as it looks to gain more traction in professional environments.

First launched in June 2011 at the AMD Fusion11 Developer Summit, Fusion is the name given to AMD's efforts to meld its CPU and GPU know-how into a single platform offering high performance at a low power draw.

The best-known outcome of the Fusion project, AMD's Accelerated Processing Units (APUs,) offer small form factor system builders surprisingly powerful graphics and processing capabilities - with corresponding general-purpose GPU (GPGPU) capabilities - in a low-cost, low-power chip.

With AMD supporting languages including C++ AMP and OpenCL for GPGPU offload, the company clearly feels it's time to bring the technology to a new audience under a more professional brand identity.

'We have built a heterogeneous compute ecosystem that is built on industry standards,' boasted AMD corproate fellow Phil Rogers in a statement regarding the renaming exercise. 'As such, we believe it’s only fitting that the name of this evolving architecture and platform be representative of the entire, technical community that is leading the way in this very important area of technology and programming development.

'FSA will now be known as Heterogeneous Systems Architecture, or HSA. The HSA platform will continue to be rooted in industry standards and will include some of the best innovations that the technology community has to offer.
'

The move isn't purely a branding exercise, however: Rogers promises to reveal recent advances in the HSA platform design at the company's Financial Analyst Day on the 2nd of February that will offer a clear improvement worthy of the platform's new name.

While AMD isn't the only company looking towards heterogeneous computing platforms, it does have a distinct advantage over its rivals: Intel is able to offer high-performance CPUs but is weak in graphics, while Nvidia offers high-performance GPUs but has no CPU presence outside its mobile-centric Tegra line and the secretive 'Project Denver.'

Does AMD's rebranding exercise smack of desperation, or do you think the newly-named Heterogeneous Systems Architecture could be just what the company needs to bring the fight to Intel? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

33 Comments

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Flanananagan 19th January 2012, 15:23 Quote
'Heterogeneous Systems Architecture, rolls off the tongue...
coolius 19th January 2012, 15:23 Quote
snappy
NethLyn 19th January 2012, 15:25 Quote
Wonder how much of this BS marketing spend didn't go into chip development? Looks like this is the sign AMD only gives a toss about graphics cards now.
lysaer 19th January 2012, 15:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by NethLyn
Wonder how much of this BS marketing spend didn't go into chip development? Looks like this is the sign AMD only gives a toss about graphics cards now.

Well over the last few years its the only place they have been able to compete.

So makes sense to focus on it

Sent from my HTC Sensation XE with Beats Audieo Z715e using Tapatalk
bowman 19th January 2012, 15:34 Quote
Digging a hole, digging a hole..

I hope someone with good intentions and deep pockets buys AMD. can't really think of a candidate who would give a **** about the consumer market off-hand..
fdbh96 19th January 2012, 16:59 Quote
" as it looks to gain more traction in professional environments."

Looks like AMD are trying to increase their role in servers, no idea if they are any good ATM.
sear 19th January 2012, 17:10 Quote
Because everyone knows AMD's big problem is branding, and not sub-standard products.
lysaer 19th January 2012, 17:34 Quote
Bulldozer - It's like going into a showroom to buy a Ferrari and walking out with a red Skoda, then wondering why it's not as fast

Sent from my HTC Sensation XE with Beats Audio Z715e using Tapatalk
longweight 19th January 2012, 17:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sear
Because everyone knows AMD's big problem is branding, and not sub-standard products.

Was that Sarcasm?!
Fizzban 19th January 2012, 17:48 Quote
The money they must waste on re-branding things like this.. I would have thought they had bigger priority's than what something is called.
DbD 19th January 2012, 17:54 Quote
Fusion was a marketing lie anyway. There were many years marketing/amd fanboy talk of how it was going to change computing in new and revolutionary ways, how it would so different to what intel could produce. It turned out to be just a cpu with embedded gpu, exactly the same as intel have and used to do exactly the same things as cpu's with separate gpu's have done for years.
B1GBUD 19th January 2012, 18:10 Quote
Next they'll bring back the ATI brand....
GigantoR 19th January 2012, 18:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by B1GBUD
Next they'll bring back the ATI brand....

New from AMD! The ATI Athlon XP All-In-Wonder!
izools 19th January 2012, 18:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DbD
Fusion was a marketing lie anyway. There were many years marketing/amd fanboy talk of how it was going to change computing in new and revolutionary ways, how it would so different to what intel could produce. It turned out to be just a cpu with embedded gpu, exactly the same as intel have and used to do exactly the same things as cpu's with separate gpu's have done for years.

That's where they are currently in the roadmap, yes.

First integrating Radeon GPUs into mobo chipsets with "Sideport" GDDR3 to boost graphics performance over GMA solutions from Intel an nVidia.

Second integrating Radeon GPUs into the CPU die.

Third will be an integration of the CPU and GPU cores into a "Heterogeneous" processor which can handle the tasks of a CPU and a GPU with equal ease and efficiency.

That's the plan anyway. I don't see them making the final leap as that's a compelte architectural overhaul and I don't see how they can make it x86 compatible whilst retaining the current level of GPU power current GPUs have. A dream to far, IMHO.

And really? AMD doing an effective x86 architectural overhaul? They can't even do that right without trying to integrate other functions. How can they get it so wrong? Are their head honchos having to pay protection to Intel mob goons and keep their performance sub par to stop their family getting killed?

One would think so the amount of epic fails they've had since the glory days of Thunderbird vs Willamette.
sakzzz 19th January 2012, 18:51 Quote
Thats such....a...... HOMOGENOUS....IDEA..............
dr-strangelove 19th January 2012, 20:49 Quote
How long can AMD continue making sub standard CPUs before they run out of money? Or are their GPUs keeping them afloat?
fluxtatic 19th January 2012, 20:56 Quote
I take this as a bad sign - new architecture sucks, so let's have marketing shuffle some deck chairs. FFS, AMD, ignore your stupid branding, get back into the lab and get us some decent processors already!
Joey Propane 19th January 2012, 21:12 Quote
So before a brand even really gets a chance to take off, they bin it? There were rumours a few weeks ago (maybe months, I can't remember) that AMD were going to pull out of the high end home CPU market and focus on server and low power/fusion area's, the fact they are using a word like "Heterogeneous" (which let's face it, wont mean ANYTHING to joe public) adds some fuel to that fire.
IvanIvanovich 19th January 2012, 21:47 Quote
AMD is on a bad road here. If they are not careful they will make themselves as irrelevant as VIA.
Perhaps they go the other way now, and integrate cpu onto gpu pci-e cards... LOL.
XXAOSICXX 19th January 2012, 22:18 Quote
Can't help but notice that some people here really are short sighted and/or know very little about business.

So the new architecture sucks does it? Sure...perhaps it does! In fact, let us say it definitely does. Putting yourself in the shoes of an AMD exec would you:

a) Write off billions in R&D costs because it hasn't taken to market the way you'd hoped

or

b) Spend a minute fraction of the R&D costs on a "marketing shuffle" in an attempt to recover just some of those costs so that you CAN "get back into the lab and get us some decent processors".

...and I don't think that "Heterogeneous Systems Architecture" will mean a thing to "joe public", but then, they'll sell it has "HSA" which will mean just as much/as little to your average punter as "Hyper Threading" (HT), "Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line" (ADSL), "Serial Advanced Technology Attachment" (SATA) and so on and so on, and since the article states "the company clearly feels it's time to bring the technology to a new audience under a more professional brand identity" I think we can safely assume they're going to be marketing it at OEMs, system builders, etc and not your average sucker in PC World.
CowBlazed 19th January 2012, 22:55 Quote
I don't think people realize how much of a success fusion has been for AMD, the Bobcat APUs are in laptops and stores everywhere, and Llano mobiles, while short in supply, kill anything near the same price range in gaming by a long shot. So these are also pretty popular.

Desktop space you might count them out unless your on a budget, but mobile AMD has it going on.

Intel mobile CPUs cost a bundle and give you more then you need, where as their graphics are sub par in every way.
lysaer 19th January 2012, 23:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CowBlazed
I don't think people realize how much of a success fusion has been for AMD, the Bobcat APUs are in laptops and stores everywhere, and Llano mobiles, while short in supply, kill anything near the same price range in gaming by a long shot. So these are also pretty popular.

Desktop space you might count them out unless your on a budget, but mobile AMD has it going on.

Intel mobile CPUs cost a bundle and give you more then you need, where as their graphics are sub par in every way.

I don't confess to know all the power to price points for Intel and AMD in the laptop market. But I would think if someone is buying a laptop for gaming, they would opt for a independent GPU anyways.

Sent from my HTC Sensation XE with Beats Audio Z715e using Tapatalk
Madness_3d 19th January 2012, 23:19 Quote
looks like servers are where it's at for AMD at the mo
improprietary 20th January 2012, 02:23 Quote
Heterogeneous? Thats an insult for the gay modding community!
just making bullets here :3
fluxtatic 20th January 2012, 03:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by XXAOSICXX
Can't help but notice that some people here really are short sighted and/or know very little about business.

What I said, I say as someone who's only used AMD for many, many years. The Llano and Brazos are pretty kick-ass, but they're based on the Phenom II arch. BD, which was supposed to crush Sandy Bridge in the consumer and server markets, will not. I dearly hope that they are 5 years ahead of everyone else and that once software catches up, I can finally have the chance to rub it in the faces of Intel fanboys.

In the meantime, the Fusion branding would have been fine. This 'heterogeneous systems architecture' sounds clumsy, and I think it may hurt them worse in that they're yanking the Fusion branding so quickly. I'd say AMD is being a bit short-sighted themselves, in that now it appears they're panicking. Or that, under pressure, they maybe pushed BD out the door before it was really ready, as it had already been delayed several times. Because they wouldn't shut up about how it would be greatest thing ever, they had to deliver, only to disappoint. They should have done a die shrink on the Stars arch and kept BD in the lab until they could at least match what their previous (8 year old) arch could do across the board. I got an AM3+ board when my old board died, figuring at least I'd be ready once BD finally dropped (it was already well late by that point.) Imagine my disappointment when I found out there was no compelling reason to replace my PII X3 - not in performance, and not enough in performance-per-watt.

I went to spec a server just the other day, and what do I find? For my use, AMD isn't the best there, either. In some highly-specialized use cases, yes. But for most average server applications, Intel still has them beat.

I know enough about business to know that what AMD is doing now could blow up in their faces. They may not be scrambling, but it doesn't matter - the appearance of scrambling is damaging enough.
ssj12 20th January 2012, 03:27 Quote
dear god this sounds bloody horrid
dyzophoria 20th January 2012, 08:12 Quote
FUSION is way better than heterogenous, just like ATI is way better than using AMD on their videocards, just saying
ewanqbl 20th January 2012, 09:30 Quote
I think when you have more than one brand under the same roof, you just lose more money than you normally should. I guess this move will only make AMD reduce costs on marketing and, maybe, invest more in R&D. I mean, let's be serious, they may have innovative designs, but the implementation is way off. They APU is nice, but other designs simply do not come close to expectations.

Let's hope for the best! In some countries, name changing new born babies that are deathly sick is a common practice to fool death and let them live. Anthropology was a great class. Maybe it will work for AMD, too!
l3v1ck 20th January 2012, 10:18 Quote
Not a rebranding exercise my arse! Using a bigger word doesn't make it better. There was nothing wrong with Fusion as a brand name. In fact it rolls off the tounge much more easily. They could easily have made the hardware changes without destroying the brand.

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Jhodas 20th January 2012, 11:08 Quote
This smacks of a company in quite a lot of disarray. If their branding is changing this quickly, you can quite safely assume that this has been happening with the RnD too, so they'll have probably pushed the boffins in two directions at once. Result: phail.

I'm a massive AMD fanboy and was holding out for bulldozer, but all the top level reshuffling made me vary nervous.
technogiant 20th January 2012, 19:52 Quote
It's not all bad for AMD, there are reports that "trinity" is going to be better than expected both in terms of the cpu and gpu portions.

On the negative side however over at Semiaccurate who are traditionally AMD centric there is an article stating that information received ;-) shows that Kepler even in the mid range GK104 version is going to beat the AMD 7000 series on "all fronts".

So AMD really have to utilize their unique position of having fair/good performance on both cpu and gpu fronts.

Trouble is they can't do that just by giving heterogeneous computing a new name....they MUST HAVE NEW SOFTWARE SUPPORT AS WELL!!
knutjb 21st January 2012, 16:22 Quote
The end user they are going for isn't gaming, primarily uses programs that are not that demanding, need multiple monitor support, and low power consumption. These processors do that well. For these customers they will likely expand graphics capabilities as well as other end user specific needs. Most of these aren't a big deal in the gaming world but business tends to buy bulk and are a very important market. With consumers moving to mobile devices of varying types business is a great place to cater to. Offices find big productivity gains with 2-3 and sometimes 4 monitors per worker, if AMD will do this from say the A series they will open up a nice market.
CowBlazed 22nd January 2012, 01:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lysaer
I don't confess to know all the power to price points for Intel and AMD in the laptop market. But I would think if someone is buying a laptop for gaming, they would opt for a independent GPU anyways.

Sent from my HTC Sensation XE with Beats Audio Z715e using Tapatalk

As I said, Llano APU kills anything in the even remote price range as far as a gaming notebook goes ($300-500).

Sure you can get a dedicated GPU, if you want to pay closer to $1000. Otherwise, you're only choice is integrated graphics or low end dedicated, all of which Llano completely destroys price and performance wise.
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