Subject: Processors | June 15, 2011 - 01:04 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: llano, sabine, APU, fusion
AMD is in the spotlight this week and Intel has yet to find a way to distract the techies, something the two companies tend to do whenever one takes the limelight. Llano is here and is quite an impressive low power APU. AMD is taking advantage of the space savings of placing the GPU on the same die as the CPU and is basking in the success of the graphics portion proving much better than SandyBridge when it comes to gaming. [H]ard|OCP handed a Gold Award to the $700 notebook they were given to test, find out why by clicking this link.
You can see our coverage using the llano tag.
Yes, those settings are playable.
"While we have seen previous Fusion APUs, today AMD releases its code named "Llano" Fusion A Series APU processor on the world. The first one of these we get to see is in a notebook and a mere 228 square millimeter of silicon that AMD is counting on changing its balance sheet."
Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:
- The Llano Desktop Preview: AMD A8-3850 CPU & GPU Performance @ AnandTech
- AMD A8-3500M Llano Linux Benchmarks @ Phoronix
- AMD's second Fusion CPU gives glimpse at future of CPU/GPU @ Ars Technica
- The AMD Llano Notebook Review: Competing in the Mobile Market @ AnandTech
- AMD vs Intel: Phenom II X4 980 and X6 1100T Take on Core i5 @ hardCOREware
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 14, 2011 - 04:29 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: llano, APU, sabine, linux
When SandyBridge first hit the market Phoronix was less than impressed at its performance on any system running Linux. Thankfully that has since improved but the initial impression that the lack of support created remains. AMD's new Llano, like the previous Zacate APU is a different story, with support available already thanks to Catalyst Linux driver support as opposed to Mesa or the base kernel. This particular review focuses on comparing the E-350 APU to the AMD A8-3500M APU with its Radeon HD 6620G, they will be comparing the CPU portion separately. There is a noticeable improvement in performance across the board when compared to the E-350 which was expected, the happy surprise was how few issues they ran into.
They also tested out a brand new Gallium3D driver that just arrived, comparing it to the various alternatives available to interface with AMD's GPUs. The performance of the Catalyst driver for Linux is far beyond the alternatives, good news for those using Linux.
"AMD's next-generation "Llano" Fusion APUs are launching today. Llano is a very nice upgrade over the current-generation 40nm Brazos hardware as talked about in another Phoronix article to be published in the next couple of hours, but in this article is a look at the graphics in Llano. Here's the first Linux look at the Llano graphics support and performance for the Radeon HD 6620G as found with the AMD A8-3500M Fusion APU."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- Sapphire Radeon HD6950 Flex 2GB @ Metku.net
- PowerColor Radeon HD 6790: Affordable Gaming @ InsideHW
- Truly Unique: MSI Radeon R6970 Lightning and VTX3D Radeon HD 6970 X-Edition @ X-bit Labs
- Gigabyte Radeon HD 6870 OC Graphics Card Review @ eTeknix
- HIS Radeon HD6950 IceQ-X Turbo-X @ Benchmark Reviews
- i3DSpeed, May 2011 @ iXBT Labs
- Desktop Graphics Card Comparison Guide @ Tech ARP
- Zotac GTX590 SLI 5760x1080 Nvidia Surround @ OC3D
- ASUS GTX 580 Matrix Platinum 1.5 GB @ techPowerUp
- ASUS Geforce GTS 450 DirectCU OC 1GB Video Card Review @ ThinkComputers
Subject: Mobile | June 14, 2011 - 12:40 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: llano, APU, sabine
It has been a long wait for AMD's Llano APU but the wait is over and unlike a certain game the news is good. The CPU portion is based on the same Stars architecture that current generation Phenoms use but that only accounts for about 50% of the die space, the remaining space is taken up by the graphics processing units. Using what AMD calls the 'Fusion Compute Link', the graphics portion of the die can access the memory it shares with the CPU which has big impacts on the speed of processing OpenCL and other applications that can utilize the GPGPU architecture both AMD and Intel are using currently. What that translates to in terms of performance is significantly better gaming performance than Intel's HD 3000 IGP, though performance in other situations is not up to the competitions level. It looks like this particular implementation of Llano will give you a notebook in the range of $700 which will allow you to game at a decent resolution with most settings enabled.
"Since competing with Intel on processor performance is out of the question, this entire platform instead must rely on its graphics performance and its portability. Fortunately, these are two areas where Llano shows great strength. Even with dual graphics disabled, the APU was capable of out-performing Intel’s current HD 3000 IGP by a significant margin."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- The Llano Desktop Preview: AMD A8-3850 CPU & GPU Performance @ AnandTech
- The AMD Llano Notebook Review: Competing in the Mobile Market @ AnandTech
- AMD Llano A-Series APU Sabine Notebook Platform Review @ Legit Reviews
- Logisys Blue LED Cooling Stand
- PureGear Soft Case for Apple iPhone 4 Review @ TechReviewSource
- iOS 5 for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad – Overview @ Tech-Reviews
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 @ TechSpot
- ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Honeycomb Tablet Review @ t-break
- HP Envy 17 3D Review @ t-break
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Review: The Sleekest Honeycomb Tablet @ AnandTech
Subject: Processors, Mobile, Shows and Expos | June 14, 2011 - 12:08 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: trinity, fusion, APU, AFDS
On stage during the opening keynote at the AMD Fusion Developer Summit 2011, Rick Bergman showed off a notebook that was being powered not by the recently released AMD Llano A-series APUs, but rather the Trinity core due in 2012.
Trinity is the desktop APU for next year that will combine Bulldozer-based x86 CPU cores with an updated DX11 GPU architecture built on the current 32nm process. Not much else is known about the chip yet but hopefully we'll get some more details this week at the show.
AMD lines up Llano
2006. That was the year where the product we are reviewing today was first consummated and the year that AMD and ATI merged in a $5.4 billion deal that many read about scratching their heads. At the time the pairing of a the 2nd place microprocessor company with the 2nd place graphics technology vendor might have seemed like an odd arrangement even with the immediate benefit of a unified platform of chipset, integrated graphics and processor to offer to mobile and desktop OEMs. In truth though, that was a temporary solution to a more long term problem that we now know as heterogeneous computing: the merging not just of these companies but all the computing workloads of CPUs and GPUs.
Five years later, and by most accounts more than a couple of years late, the new AMD that now sans-manufacturing facility is ready to release the first mainstream APU, Accelerated Processing Unit. While the APU name is something that the competition hasn't adopted, the premise of a CPU/GPU combination processing unit is not just the future, it is the present as well. Intel has been shipping Sandy Bridge, the first mainstream silicon with a CPU and GPU truly integrated together on a single die since January 2011 and AMD no longer has the timing advantage that we thought it would when the merger was announced.
For sanity sake, I should mention the Zacate platform that combines an ATI-based GPU with a custom low power x86 core called Bobcat for the netbook and nettop market that was released in November of 2010. As much as we like that technology it doesn't have the performance characteristics to address the mainstream market and that is exactly where Llano comes in.
AMD Llano Architecture
Llano's architecture has been no secret over the last two years as AMD has let details and specifications leak at a slow pace in order to build interest and excitement over the pending transition. That information release has actually slowed this year though likely to reduce expectations on the first generation APU with the release of the Sandy Bridge processor proving to be more potent than perhaps AMD expected. And in truth, while the Llano design as whole is brand new all of the components that make it up have been seen before - both the x86 Stars core and the Radeon 5000 series-class have been tested and digested on PC Perspective for many years.
For today's launch we were given a notebook reference platform for the Llano architecture called "Sabine". While the specifications we are looking at here are specific to this mainstream notebook platform nearly all will apply to the desktop release later in the year (perhaps later in the month actually).
The platform diagram above gives us an overview of what components will make up a system built on the Llano Fusion APU design. The APU itself is made up 2 or 4 x86 CPU cores that come from the Stars family released with the Phenom / Phenom II processors. They do introduce a new Turbo Core feature that we will discuss later that is somewhat analogous to what Intel has done with its processors with Turbo Boost.
There is a TON of more information, so be sure you hit that Read More link right now!!
Subject: General Tech | June 9, 2011 - 11:27 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: acer, amd, desna, bobcat core, APU, AMD z-series, brazos
AMD's C-series and E-series of APUs have been selling quickly, with an estimated 1/2 million processors sold already to tablet and SFF PC builders and putting plenty of pressure on Intel's Atom+ION lineup. AMD has made themselves so popular by providing better performance at a lower TDP and power draw, mostly because of the age of the Oak Trail based CULVs, once Huron River arrives we may see that change drastically.
Now we learn that Acer has orders in for 80K of the new dual core 1GHz APU, with a TDP of 5.9W. Obviously AMD and the OEMs purchasing the chips are intending these for tablets and SFF PCs running Windows. There will be no need to wait for Win8's ARM architecture support if you are looking to run a Win7 ultramobile PC right now. ARM, Tegra and even Intel's announced Moorestown pull less power and are more appropriate for smart phones, so don't expect to be seeing Desna in that particular form factor.
"Acer has recently placed orders for 80,000 Z series APUs from AMD for use in tablet PCs, targeting the enterprise market, according to sources from upstream component makers. However, both Acer and AMD did not confirm the orders.
In addition to Acer, Micro-Star International (MSI) is also developing tablet PC models using AMD's APU.
Since Google Android 3.0 currently still has issues which need to be resolved, while the next-generation Android operating system codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich will not appear until the end of 2011, some tablet PC vendors have decided to launch Windows 7-based tablet PCs targeting the enterprise market to maintain their shipments.
Since Intel's Oak Trail-based Atom processor is higher in both price and power consumption, several notebook vendors have already started considering AMD's platform. In addition to Acer and MSI, some vendors have also started inquiring about AMD's Z series APU.
AMD's Z series APU is produced through Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company's (TSMC's) 40nm process and is already shipping, targeting the Windows-based tablet PC market, noted the sources adding that they expect shipments of Z series APUs to reach at least 500,000 units in the second half of 2011, creating strong pressure on Intel's Oak Trail processor."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Intel starts talking about 8nm node @ SemiAccurate
- iCloud without Apple: your platform-agnostic alternatives @ Ars Technica
- Ex-Google engineer dubs Goofrastructure 'truly obsolete' @ The Register
- Canon REALiS SX80 Mark II Review @ TechReviewSource
- Wii U Specification Rumours @ XSreviews
- Computex 2011 recap: Intel Z68 motherboard dominates but AMD Bulldozer missing @ The Inquirer
Subject: Motherboards, Shows and Expos | June 2, 2011 - 04:52 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: ssd, socket 2011, llano, intel ssd, gigabyte, computex, APU
We stopped by the Gigaybte booth during Computex 2011 this week and found a host of new motherboards that range from the mainstream to the ultra-extreme.
First up is the A75-UD4H that supports the new AMD FM1 socket and the upcoming AMD Llano processor. Even though the APU will have integrated graphics on die, the Gigabyte board support AMD Dual Graphics technology and CrossFire multi-GPU solutions in conjunction with 8 USB 3.0 ports.
The board will include output connections of VGA, DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort along with size USB ports, four of which are USB 3.0.
The Z68XP-UD3 motherboard is one that will be offered in two different ways: one with an SSD and one without. The "iSSD" model will actually include an mSATA Intel 20GB SLC SSD and should come in at a cost of under $250. Considering the Larson Creek drive will cost you anywhere from $90-110 on its own, the combination of a Z68 motherboard and SSD is actually very price competitive. Plus, you get the convenience of having the SSD on the motherboard without it taking up a 3.5-in or 2.5-in drive bay.
For those that choose to get the lower cost board without the included Intel SSD you will be able to choose from several other newcomers to the mSATA form factor including Kingston and OCZ.
Of course we had to take a look at the Socket 2011 motherboard, the X79A-UD3 with support for the upcoming Intel Sandy Bridge-E processor. According to the slide information this will include a new version of the SSD caching technology called RSTe (Rapid Storage Technology Enterprise) with support for USB 3.0 and quad-channel DDR3 memory.
For those that haven't seen, here is a close up of the Socket 2011 in all its glory - that's a lot of pins!!
Subject: Processors, Shows and Expos | June 1, 2011 - 09:28 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: trinity, llano, fusion, computex, bulldozer, APU, amd
While talking up the new 900-series of chipset and the branding for the upcoming AMD Llano APU launch, AMD did surprise us by showing off a bit more of the future than typical. Rick Bergman, general manager of the AMD Product Group, pulled a Trinity-based APU out of his pocket to demonstrate the conviction of staying on a "one-APU-per-year" cycle in the years to come.
While it looks just like any other AMD processors from a distance, this Trinity APU is based on the Bulldozer x86 architecture (which will see the first release as a CPU only later this year) and combines some amount of SIMD-units (aka Radeon cores) for a CPU/GPU combo. This will be the part that succeeds Llano, due out in a few short days.
This roadmap shows the cadence of once a year will be the norm for AMD going forward and that AMD plans to introduce an APU for the tablet market sometime in 2012. It will be interesting to see how late to the game AMD is in this arena and if they can compete with what ARM is doing or even what Intel will be doing with Medfield.
Recently, AMD launched two new AMD Embedded G-Series APUs (Accelerated Processing Units). The two new chips have a TDP rating of 5.5 and 6.4 watts, which represent a 39% improvement in power savings over the previous iterations. The 361mm² chip package is capable of being used in embedded systems without the need for a fan to cool it. The embedded chips include one or two low power x86 Bobcat processors and a discrete class DirectX 11 GPU on a single die.
AMD currently has three systems utilizing the new APUs, including a Pico-ITX form factor computer, a Qseven form factor computer, and a digital sign system. Buddy Broeker, the Director of Embedded Solutions for AMD stated that "today we take the ground-breaking AMD Fusion APU well below 7W TDP and shatter the accepted traditional threshold for across-the-board fanless enablement."
The two new chips are named the T40R and the T40E. The chips both run at 1.00GHz; however, the 6.4 watt TDP T40E is a dual core chip and the 5.5 watt TDP T40R is a single core variant. Both chips include an AMD Radeon 6250 GPU, a 64KB L1 cache, and a 512KB L2 cache per each CPU core. Further, the chips feature an integrated DDR3 memory controller that can support up to 667MHz solder-down SODIMMs or two DIMM slots. More details on the series as a whole can be found here.
Mobile and embedded processors continue to get smaller and faster. Have you seen any AMD powered embedded technology in your town?
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