AMD’s Fusion family of APUs

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

At Computex 2010 AMD gave the first public demonstration of its Fusion processor that combines the Central Processing Unit (CPU) and Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) on a single chip. The AMD Fusion family of Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) not only adds another acronym to the computer lexicon, but ushers is what AMD says is a significant shift in processor architecture and capabilities.

AMD says combining the CPU, GPU, video processing and other accelerator capabilities in a single-die design provides more power-efficient processors that are better able to handle demanding operations such as HD video, media-rich Internet content and DirectX 11 games – AMD hasn’t revealed the technical specs of the GPUs it will embed in its APUs, but has disclosed they will be DirectX 11 compliant.

Many of the improvements stem from eliminating the chip-to-chip linkage that adds latency to memory operations and consumes power - moving electrons across a chip takes less energy than moving these same electrons between two chips. The co-location of all key elements on one chip also allows a holistic approach to power management of the APU. Various parts of the chip can be powered up or down depending on workloads.

Lord of the Rings Online goes free-to-play this fall

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Lord of the Rings Online will become a free-to-play game this fall as its new owner launches a major upgrade.

The move is another validation of the free-to-play business model, where gamers can play for free and pay real money for virtual goods such as better weapons or decorative gear for their game characters. The business model has been popular in Asia but only recently took off in the U.S. This move shows the pressure is building on game publishers to shift to the new business model or face declining audiences.

Adobe warns of Flash, PDF zero-day attacks

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Adobe issued an alert late Friday night to warn about zero-day attacks against an unpatched vulnerability in its Reader and Flash Player software products.

The vulnerability, described as critical, affects Adobe Flash Player and earlier versions for Windows, Macintosh, Linux and Solaris operating systems. It also affects the authplay.dll component that ships with Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.x for Windows, Macintosh and UNIX operating systems, Adobe said.

Oracle cutting more Sun jobs

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Oracle Corp. is cutting more jobs as part of its takeover of slumping computer-server maker Sun Microsystems.

Oracle, the world’s biggest database-software maker, said in a regulatory filing Friday that the new round of cuts would mostly hit employees in Asia and Europe.

It didn’t specify how many employees would be laid off. But it did say the new restructuring would be at least twice as expensive as the one Oracle initiated immediately after closing the Sun deal in January.

The new cuts will cost Oracle $675 million to $825 million. The previous cuts, which are ongoing, will cost an estimated $325 million.

Affected employees started to get notified May 28.

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