More Llano for your reading pleasure

Subject: Processors | June 15, 2011 - 01:04 PM |
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.

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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:

Processors

Source: [H]ard|OCP

A Linux-centric look at Llano's graphics performance

Subject: Graphics Cards | June 14, 2011 - 04:29 PM |
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.

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"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:

Graphics Cards

Source: Phoronix

1 Llano beats 3000 Intel HDs

Subject: Mobile | June 14, 2011 - 12:40 PM |
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.  

Read Ryan's full review of the architecture and the AMD A-Series Notebook here.

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"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:

Mobile

Author:
Subject: Processors, Mobile
Manufacturer: AMD

AMD lines up Llano

Introduction

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).

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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!!