iSuppli: More notebooks to incorporate graphics-enabled processors starting this year
Laptop gamers commonly avoid integrated graphics like the plague when it comes to shopping for new hardware. While low on power consumption and price, onboard graphics simply do not have the horsepower required to play most modern 3D games at even basic settings. Now, a new kind of integrated graphics is emerging as a CPU/GPU hybrid, called the graphics-enabled processor (GEM).
Intel is currently at the forefront for pushing GEMs into consumer laptops this year. This is because Sandy Bridge processors are technically GEMs as they integrate CPU and GPU into one chip and can handle graphics such as HD video flawlessly. AMD Fusion APUs, which also integrate CPU and GPU functionalities, can also be considered GEMs by this definition.
Integrated graphics have been the heart of most mass market laptops for years. According to iSuppli, however, GEMs could quickly become more common as they will be installed in “about 115 million notebooks that will ship this year, which is about half the expected shipments for all of 2011.” By 2014, the same research firm expects over 80% of all notebooks to be equipped with GEMs. Dailytech predicts that such an outcome would potentially damage the discrete GPU market dominated by Nvidia. If the company cannot offer compelling low-end and mainstream graphics solutions, its market share could begin dwindling due to the advent of GEMs. Those looking for more high-end graphics, though, will still be sticking to discrete graphics solutions.