With Intel's new Ivy Bridge third-generation Core i-series CPUs dominating the PC component discussion this week (or really, the last several months), it would be easy to miss today's announcement from AMD about new GPU parts.
AMD's Radeon graphics line, formerly branded under the ATI name, is found in many high-end laptops, including HP's Envy line and Apple's MacBook Pro. The current HD7000 series is now being expanded to include the HD7700M, 7800M, and 7900M.
AMD promises several new features from these updated GPUs, including smoother switching between integrated and discrete graphics. Rival Nvidia has had excellent GPU switching for some time, called Optimus, and the newer AMD version is called Enduro (because it's meant to extend battery life).
Additionally, the chips dynamically shut parts of themselves down when not in use, and the GPU as a whole will consume virtually no power when idle, according to the company.
The code names for the HD7700 and HD 7800 are "Chelsea" and "Heathrow," respectively. The more advanced 7900M is code-named "Wimbledon." All are 28nm parts, compared to the original HD7000 GPUs, which were 40nm.
AMD calls the HD7900, "the most technologically advanced and feature-rich mobile GPUs AMD has ever created," running at 850Mhz with 2GB of on-board GDDR5 RAM.
Look for laptops containing these new parts soon, as well as the next generation of AMD CPUs (or APUs, as the company calls its combination of processor and semi-discrete graphics), which are currently code-named "Trinity."