AMD ditches Fusion branding

January 19, 2012 | 14:13

Tags: #apu #cpu #fsa #fusion #gpgpu #gpu #heterogeneous-systems-arc #heterogeneous-systems-architecture #hsa #opencl

Companies: #amd #intel #nvidia

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.
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