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2011 will be the year of the graphics enabled microprocessor

Intel and AMD square off
Thu Mar 17 2011, 13:18

THIS WILL BE the biggest year yet for the graphics enabled microprocessor (GEM) chips that feature a CPU and graphics processing unit in a one-chip design.

A report by Isuppli, the company most known for tearing down and poking at gadgets, said GEMs will be in around half of the world's notebooks this year. This is an increase from 39 per cent in 2010.

It also said that GEMs will reach 45 per cent of desktop computers, increasing from 36 per cent in 2010. It said that there will be a resurgence due to strong corporate demand. It also said that by 2014 83 per cent of all notebook PCs and 76 per cent of desktop PCs worldwide will have GEMs.

"With GEMs capable of generating the total graphic output of a PC, no additional graphics processor or add-in graphics card is needed." said Isuppli principal analyst for compute platforms Peter Lin.

"Computers today are serving up ever-richer multimedia experiences, so the graphics capabilities of PCs have become more important, driving the rising penetration of GEM."

This year will be a straight fight between Intel and AMD, according to Isuppli. Intel has the Sandy Bridge processor family "which integrates the CPU and graphic processor in a single piece of silicon". AMD will release "five application platforms with five GEM microprocessor categories".

The report did note that GEMs won't ever be likely to offer the performance of a gamer-friendly discrete graphics card, which is better for handling high-performance visuals. But this won't be a problem for the mass market. µ


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