Tag - Llano
A potentially major rumor has asserted that Apple was at one point investingating using AMD's Llano architecture mobile processors in the MacBook Air. The company had the kind of power and performance Apple wanted, Forbes heard, but had trouble producing chips in time for the 2011 update. As its former manufacturing wing and now partner GlobalFoundries was adapting to make the Fusion-based chips, where the graphics core is part of the processor itself, it was having trouble generating useful test yields.
Leaked AMD mobile platform roadmaps from German forum board 3D Center reveal that the Llano chip replacement, Trinity, is due to begin shipping in the winter of 2012, among other tidbits. There will be four specific models of the chip offered, though no specifics are available yet. A Bulldozer-based Piledriver core will be the basis, which will also underpin the company's upcoming AMD FX-series of processors.
AMD has added a new desktop processor to its A-Series Fusion processors. The A6-3500 runs three 2.1GHz cores along with a 444MHz Radeon HD 6530D for integrated graphics still fast enough to handle 1080p video and some games. Turbo technology bumps the speed of the main cores up to 2.4 GHz.
HP on Monday quietly posted some of the highest end of its new AMD Fusion-based Pavilion notebooks. The dv6z Quad Edition uses AMD's faster Llano-based chips and ranges from a 1.4GHz quad A6-3400M through to a 1.9GHz A8-3530MX, the two extremes of which can boost to 2.3GHz and 2.6GHz respectively. The Fusion technology gives them graphics capable of playing 1080p video smoothly, but they can be optioned up with an unspecific dedicated AMD Radeon chipset to handle more demanding games.
AMD on Tuesday formally launched its Fusion-based A-series chips and detailed their performance. The 32 nanometer chips make the expected leap in integrated graphics, which can have 400 visual effects cores and compete with some mainstream dedicated chips yet sit inside the processor itself. A move to a 32 nanometer manufacturing process not only keeps the chips relatively small at 228mm2 but can lead to as much as a 50 percent boost in battery life: AMD has promised as much as 10.5 hours.
AMD has introduced several new chipsets, including the 9-series for desktop configurations and Z-series for tablets. The 9-series is said to serve as the basis for the company's 'Scorpius' desktop platform, based on AM3+ socket processors such as the eight-core Zambezi. The platform will also integrate six USB 3.0 ports and Radeon HD6000 discrete graphics cards, while allowing users to connect up to four Radeon GPUs.
Llano-based Fusion chips from AMD that began shipping in April to netbooks and nettops first are now being shipped to notebook makers. Details of both the shipping and prices have emerged thanks to Digitimes that show a full-blown ship schedule will begin in July. AMD is reportedly due to move 1.5 million chips and would be well on its way to meeting its goal of a 15 percent share of the notebook CPU segment.
AMD on Tuesday said it had started shipping its first batch of Llano processors. The 32 nanometer A-series chips are the first destined for both small nettops and netbooks but to scale up to performance levels that would be competitive in some full-size notebooks. They can scale up to four cores and have relatively fast DirectX 11 (OpenGL 4) graphics on the processor die that AMD said should beat Intel clearly even in the wake of the upgraded video on 2011 Core chips.
AMD has reportedly tweaked the supply agreements with its spin-off fabrication company, GlobalFoundries. The new terms are said to be focused on improving production quality, after the manufacturer encountered difficulties with its 32-nanometer chips. AMD now will pay only for working chips, rather than covering for defective components removed from production runs.
AMD is reportedly delaying the production of its Fusion Llano processors, which were originally expected to arrive sometime in the first half of 2011. The delays have been blamed on manufacturing issues, as GlobalFoundries has experienced lower-than-expected yields for its 32nm process required to build the chips, sources have told DigiTimes.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE