The news out of Taiwan this morning is that Apple will adopt AMD's new Fusion APUs for the next generation of Apple TV. This blockbuster news, if true, could open the door to other Apple-AMD based products later in 2011. This morning's news also adds some other interesting products due to arrive in early 2011 - such as a new ARM Cortex-A9 based processor for the iPad and a second smaller 7 inch iPad. The news also hits a nerve with the revelation that Apple will redesign their iPhone with a forged metal back plate with integrated antenna to remedy any concerns over the iPhone's antenna reception.
Apple to Adopt AMD's Fusion for Apple TV
The news this morning is that the next generation of Apple TV will adopt AMD's Fusion APUs and won't include a hard drive. This likely opens the door for Apple TV to move to a cloud based solution; a solution that Apple began to hint at in a published patent last October.
AMD's Fusion introduces us to the APU - which is a next generation CPU + GPU processing unit which stands for "Accelerated Processing Unit." It's the first architecture to adopt and integrate Apple's OpenCL. The news out of Taiwan this morning also predicts that Apple TV will adopt iOS, have an iPhone-like interface and support social networking websites. You'll also be able to access Apple's App Store. In theory, it could open the door for Apple TV to run higher-end video games such as Assassins Creed. Lord knows we're all praying for that day to arrive.
The advantage to AMD Fusion is that it holds tremendous potential for the future of Apple TV. According to AMD literature on Fusion, future features could include the following: Recognizing gestures without a remote, responding to voice commands, supporting bi-directional hi-definition video chat - or in Apple's lingo, "FaceTime"; add stereoscopic 3D realism to 2D content and finally support 3D gaming. AMD's original presentation for Fusion demonstrated a high-end 3D game playing off the integrated graphics built-into Fusion. So the technology is there to make it happen.
Apple Wastes No Time: New iPhone Design in the Making
The other big news to follow the sudden departure of Apple's iPhone executive Mark Papermaster last week, is that Apple will supposedly switch the iPhone's glass back panel to one that is made of forged metal that includes an integrated antenna. The CDMA iPhone will work on Verizon's network, states DigiTimes, which is supported by a recent report by TechCrunch.
New iPad Size Coming in Q1 2011
The last segment of the news is that Apple is going to adopt a new ARM Cortex A9 processor in Q1 2011 along with an all new 7 inch model. That supports other news that we reported on last week.
One last note: AMD's literature points to recognizing gestures without a remote and supporting hi-def video chatting. For that to happen, Apple would have to add iSight to Apple TV. Now that would be one hell of an upgrade to knock us silly and perhaps even challenge Microsoft's Kinect. But I wouldn't hold my breath just yet. It's just a theory based on what AMD's Fusion could offer Apple TV sometime in the future.
This morning's news is both invigorating and filled with controversy in respect to the changing antenna design. What are your thoughts on this development if it proves to be true - and more importantly, do you think that higher-end gaming is a realistic possibility for Apple TV in 2011?
Taiwan news source: DigiTimes. Note that links to the DigiTimes report will only stay open to the general public for about a week, so this link has a limited life span.
Additional Information on AMD's Forthcoming Fusion: AMD's white paper on Fusion.
Apple News Update: Liquidmetal Technologies, Inc., has entered into a Master Transaction Agreement with Apple Inc. The deal was finalized on August 5, 2010. See our special report that covered liquid metal back on June 12, 2010.