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AMD demos Llano Fusion chip

Ready for a 2011 launch
Tue Oct 19 2010, 13:08

CHIP DESIGNER AMD has demonstrated its Llano Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) at a technical forum in Taipei.

Llano forms part of the firm's Fusion product line and is intended for laptops and 'thin' desktop machines. The Llano APU features a graphics core built into the CPU chip to reduce not only the number of components but also heat and manufacturing cost.

The demonstration was used to show that the Llano chip has enough power to compete with existing low-end CPUs, with the firm running three simultaneous compute and graphic intensive workloads on the chip.

Running Microsoft Windows 7, the test comprised calculating the value of Pi to 32 million decimal places while decoding video from a Blu-ray disc. While all that was going on the chip also ran Microsoft's Nbody Directcompute benchmark, which came up with a figure of 30Gflops of computational power.

AMD claims that the demonstration was a preview of "Llano's raw compute power enabling new levels of experience computing that AMD aims to bring to mainstream PC users in 2011." The firm also claims the chip will help deliver "sleek form factors" and long battery life.

Llano is expected to appear in dual, triple and quad core configurations with thermal design power (TDP) ratings somewhere between 20W to 60W depending on the number of cores. The APUs will be fabbed with Globalfounderies' 32nm process. Llano APUs are expected to displace the market segment currently occupied by AMD's Athlon II CPU chips.

For AMD, Llano will be the first real Fusion product after years of talk and various cancellations. The topic of APUs was mooted merely days after AMD announced it had bought ATI in 2006, however it has taken nearly five years for a product to tip up.

We expect that AMD will put its Fusion APUs on display at CES in January 2011. µ



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