CHIP DESIGNER AMD will bring six Trinity accelerated processing units (APUs) to market by the third quarter of 2012.
AMD's Trinity processors, the firm's follow-up to its Llano chips, were expected to tip up at the tail end of 2011. However according to a leaked slide, the company will release the first Trinity parts, two A10 processors and two A8 processors, which will have Radeon HD 7660D and 7560D graphics cores, respectively, in the second quarter of 2012.
AMD won't ditch Llano completely until the third quarter, when it will bring out A4 and A6 Trinity chips with Radeon HD 7480D and 7540D graphics cores, respectively. AMD will also use the third quarter to replace Zambezi with Vishera quad-core, hex-core and octo-core FX badged processors, all featuring Radeon HD 7000 series graphics.
AMD might keep on talking about the millions of Llano chips it has shipped but the truth is it needs to decimate Intel in Pound-for-Pound performance if it is to overturn Chipzilla's marketing advantage. Llano chips have always been seen as mediocre processors mated to capable graphics cores.
Given the success AMD has enjoyed with the Radeon HD 7000 series so far, its upcoming Trinity and Vishera APUs could well be just what it needs to push its APU strategy forward. So with the graphics side of things looking good, the pressure is on the firm to integrate equally capable CPU cores. µ