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.