Need for speed: AMD touts carbon-shrinking potential of new chip

Talk about great (unexpected) timing for a marketing campaign. As Intel grapples with a chipset design flaw, arch-rival Advanced Micro Devices is touting the ability of its new AMD E-350 Accelerated Processsing Unit (APU) technology to generate a serious reduction in carbon footprint impact compared with previous generations of its technology.

Talk about great (unexpected) timing for a marketing campaign. As Intel grapples with a chipset design flaw, arch-rival Advanced Micro Devices is touting the ability of its new AMD E-350 Accelerated Processsing Unit (APU) technology to generate a serious reduction in carbon footprint impact compared with previous generations of its technology.

Let's be clear, these developments are in no way related, and I was going to write about this AMD development anyway. But Intel's travails helped determined my timing.

Here's the skinny. Specifically, according to the research that AMD has done, an AMD Fusion APU reference system offers a 40 percent reduction in carbon emissions, compared with a system using the AMD Athlon Neo II Dual Core processor with an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5430 graphics processor. The study looks at the entire lifecycle -- from silicon fabrication into the use phases of the technology within an integrated system. Most of the green IT benefits come from the much lower amount of energy that the technology uses, compared to previous generations of AMD technology.

The E-350 APU is a single-chip processor that combines a dual-core CPU with a DirectX11 discrete-class graphics processing unit. This particular technology is targeted at portable PCs, a market that is expected to reach 233 million units this year. Here's more about the whole AMD Fusion APU technology platform.

According to AMD's carbon footprint study, if AMD Fusion chips were to make it into just one-third of of those portable products, approximately 500,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions could be saved annually. That's the equivalent of the emissions from 95,160 passenger vehicles.

I know, I know, the greenness of one chip versus another probably is just one thing you consider when you're choosing the processor for your new desktop or notebook. But given all that is going on for Intel right now, it might be time to step back and reconsider your other choices.