Wednesday, June 1, 2011

AMD to launch desktop Fusion APU Llano, say Taiwan motherboard makers

AMD will launch Llano, its new desktop-platform quad-core Fusion APU (accelerated processing unit) model, and chipsets A75 and A55 supporting SATA 3 and USB 3.0 in July 2011, with Taiwan-based vendors Asustek Computer, Gigabyte Technology and Micro-Star International as well as ODM maker ASRock showcasing Llano-A75 motherboards at Computex Taipei 2011 to take place during May 31-June 4, according to industry sources in Taiwan.

CPUs with built-in graphics cores have become a trend following Intel's launch of Sandy Bridge and AMD, based on its advantages in graphics technology, attempts to compete with Intel and take a larger lead over Nvidia in global graphics chip market share in the third quarter, the sources pointed out.

Made on a 32nm process, Llano has built-in graphics chip Radeon HD 6550 or 6450 which is functionally equivalent to Nvidia GeForce GT 240 worth US$70. Liano motherboards equipped with Socket FM1 A75 chipset support Dual Graphics technology. Such motherboard's graphics performance can be hiked by 80% using CrossFire and thereby brings competitive pressure on Nvidia GeForec GTS 450 sold at US$110. Dual Graphics is so far the only technology supporting mixed computing by a built-in graphics chip and a GPU.

Intel launched Larkdale, the first CPU with built-in graphics chip, in August 2009 and quad-core Sandy Bridge in February 2011. However, Sandy Bridge is equipped with built-in HD 2000/3000 which supports DirectX10.1 while Llano supports DirectX 11, AMD's advantage to compete with Intel, the sources pointed out.

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