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At the Consumer Electronics show, Advanced Micro Devices against demonstrated working sample of its next-generation code-named Trinity accelerated processing unit (APU). This time the company decided not only to show off a working chip, but specify that it has 17W thermal design power and is capable of a lot of things.

Up to now, AMD has demonstrated working Trinity-based notebooks for a number of times over the past six month, but at the CES the company decided to demo an ultra low-voltage version of the chip with 17W thermal design power and prove it can handle rather complex workloads. At CES, AMD demonstrated a laptop that played Dirt 3 video game in DirectX 11 mode one monitor and converted videos using Arcsoft MediaConverter on two other displays, a pretty tough task. Judging by a video posted by HotHardware web-site. the game did not run really smoothly, but still pretty fast.

It is unknown what exactly AMD demonstrated at CES since the company remained tight-lipped about configuration of 17W Trinity, hence, clock-speeds, number of x86 cores and number of Radeon stream processors is unknown. Still considering the fact that at present AMD cannot offer anything with 17W TDP, the forthcoming A-series ULV APU is a breakthrough for the company as it will allow it to address ultra-thin notebooks.

AMD’s second-generation code-named Trinity APU for mainstream personal computers (Comal for notebooks and Virgo for desktops) will be made using 32nm SOI HKMG process technology at Globalfoundries. The APU will feature up to four x86 cores powered by enhanced Bulldozer/Piledriver architecture, AMD Radeon HD 7000-series "Southern Islands" graphics core with DirectX 11-class graphics support, DDR3 memory controller and other improvements. The chips will be compatible with new FM2 infrastructure.

According to a slide that resembles those from AMD's presentations published by a web-site, AMD projects Trinity's Piledriver x86 cores to offer up to 20% higher performance compared to Husky x86 cores inside Llano. In addition, the newly-architected DirectX 11 graphics core will provide up to 30% higher speed in graphics applications, such as video games. The 20% speed improvement represents AMD's projections "using digital media workload" and actual performance advantage over currently available Fusion A-series "Llano" vary depending on the applications and usage models. It is unclear whether AMD used an early silicon (which it has at hands) for its projections or makes its predictions based on theoretical data. 

AMD expects the new Trinity APUs to be not only faster than Llano, but also more available because of improved yields as well as because increased number of 32nm SOI/HKMG wafer starts starting from the fourth quarters.

Tags: AMD, Bulldozer, Trinity, Llano, 32nm, Piledriver, Virgo, Comal


Comments currently: 14
Discussion started: 01/11/12 08:20:18 PM
Latest comment: 07/13/16 10:38:43 AM


At last, we would be able to buy ultrathin notebooks with ultragraphics at ultralow prices!!!
I wouldn't be surprised to see Intel fanboys to be among the first to rush for the Trinity ultrathin notebooks specially after seeing the F1 racing car racing on its own...:-)
6 0 [Posted by: abdulahad  | Date: 01/12/12 12:10:48 AM]

Well, at least they didnt played a video like Intel did with IB. Hey Shillov, where's your professional coverage of the Intel spectacular IV graphics CES failure?
5 2 [Posted by: bereft  | Date: 01/12/12 12:27:06 AM]

Impressive. Quad core, three displays supported, what's not to like?

17W is less than the E-350, E-450 take. If AMD can put this power into that kind of laptop at a reasonable price, I might have to replace my Thinkpad X120e.
5 0 [Posted by: ET3D  | Date: 01/12/12 01:14:55 AM]

I'm sure it breaks Anton's heart to have to report good news for AMD, but life goes on.

A Trinity ultraportable is on my BUY list as soon as available.BTW Anton, there is NO "Sea Islands" GPUs or IGP. This was discussed weeks ago.
8 3 [Posted by: beenthere  | Date: 01/12/12 05:17:51 AM]

and if it comes with a 5800 series like video chip ( HD5800 ) and shared 1gig of system ram instead of 512 like the current, it should be something nice to get hold of.
3 0 [Posted by: south side sammy  | Date: 01/12/12 07:35:35 AM]

Judging by a video posted by HotHardware web-site. the game did not run really smoothly, but still pretty fast.

What are you smoking Anton? the game looked fine to me. Regardless, desktops with similar CPU and graphics specs on current market available products will be pretty hard pressed to run smoothly while gaming,converting video, and watching a movie all at the same time. Doing it on a low power mainstream laptop chip with out much stuttering is nothing short of remarkable in my opinion.

A trinity laptop is now definitely on my buy list
9 1 [Posted by: veli05  | Date: 01/12/12 08:02:51 AM]

Finally some competition. Lets hope AMD will recover fast from the "not what we expected" bulldozer start and show some strong chips to compete with intel

In the end as I said before, we all lose if AMD fail (yeah even the intel customers) we will see lower performance in higher prices in an intel monopoly.
3 1 [Posted by: nitro912gr  | Date: 01/12/12 09:52:45 AM]

Llano has had great sales because it's the APU of choice for notebooks. E350/450 APUs have also done very well. Intel simply does not have a good CPU for these two market segments that AMD has created. Trinity has just upped the ante and will provide customers with a better ownership experience at a lower cost.
7 3 [Posted by: beenthere  | Date: 01/12/12 10:20:48 AM]

I wish this would be around sooner, but with not much to show I imagine the small Llano supplies are all that will be avaialable for a while.
0 0 [Posted by: blzd  | Date: 01/12/12 01:31:22 PM]

I'll definitely be upgrading my ancient Dell D420 ultra portable to Trinity APU ultra portable when they hit the market
0 0 [Posted by: alpha0ne  | Date: 01/16/12 01:54:20 AM]


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