The next-generation Phenom quad-core processors, due out next week, are part of the "Spider" platform, which uses video cards, the computer's processor, and a chip set in one platform to deliver better graphics and performance per watt, along with improved high-definition video. The Phenom launch is part of the promise AMD made when it acquired ATI for $5.4 billion last year: the chip giant forecasted chips that enhance graphics capabilities, including a chip code-named "Fusion" (late 2008 or early 2009), which will integrate a GPU and CPU on a single die. Though Spider has separate parts and doesn't combine a graphics processor and CPU on a single die, it is moving toward delivering Fusion, said Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager of the graphics product group at AMD.
Two new cards, the 256MB ATI Radeon HD 3850 ($179) and the 512MB ATI Radeon HD 3870 ($219) are the first products part of the Spider platform. The graphics cards also support Microsoft's DirectX 10.1 specification, which enhances overall image quality on PCs including superior HD DVD and Blu-ray images.
News source: InfoWorld