AMD: High-Performance Hybrid Chips Will Be Available in Summer 2011

AMD Llano-Based Products Set to Be Available in Mid-2011

by Anton Shilov
09/12/2010 | 08:43 AM

A high-ranking official for Advanced Micro Devices said that the company would initiate mass shipments of its code-named Llano products in the first half of next year. Partners of AMD would start sales of systems featuring Llano - the hybrid processor that features x86 as well as graphics cores - in Summer 2011.


"Llano will start shipping in the first half or 2011, and products should be available in summer 2011," said Leslie Sobon, vice president of worldwide product marketing at AMD, in an interview with Inside Hardware web-site.

AMD Llano will be positioned for mainstream and high-end notebooks, whereas the company's lower-performance Ontario and Zacate chips are aimed at inexpensive notebooks as well as netbooks. AMD is already working with actual PC manufacturers on the design of systems featuring Llano and Zacate.

"Designing and selling to our customers is well underway, since it takes 12 to 18 months for notebook products to hit the market. And let me tell you one thing about Llano, the reaction of all our partners after seeing the demo was, in one word, 'whoa'," said Ms. Sobon.

This is the first time when a high-ranking AMD executive is talking about availability of products based on the code-named Llano chip. Earlier the company's chief executive said that the problems with manufacturing technology shifter its internal plans on Llano by "a couple of months".

As reported earlier, AMD Llano accelerated processing unit (APU) will have four x86 cores based on the current micro-architecture each of which will have 9.69mm² die size (without L2 cache), a little more than 35 million transistors (without L2 cache), 2.5W – 25W power consumption, 0.8V – 1.3V voltage and target clock-speeds at over 3.0GHz clock-speed. The cores will dynamically scale their clock-speeds and voltages within the designated thermal design power in order to boost performance when a program does not require all four processing engines or trim power consumption when there is no demand for resources. According to sources familiar with the matter, different versions of Llano processor will have thermal design power varying from 20W to 59W: high-end dual-core, triple-core and quad-core chips will have TDP between 35W and 59W; mainstream chips with two of four x86 cores will fit into 30W thermal envelope and low-power dual-core Llano chips will have 20W TDP. Llano will be made using 32nm SOI process technology.

AMD Sabine platform will also include code-named Hudson input/output controllers that will support PCI Express graphics port, 16 USB ports, USB 3.0 support (Hudson M3 only), 6 Serial ATA ports with RAID support, 1Gb Ethernet, integrated video DAC, integrated clock-generator and so on. Besides, Sabine may also feature optional Vancouver-series graphics processing units.

AMD's arch-rival Intel Corp. plans to start revenue shipments of its Sandy Bridge processors with built-in next-gen graphics core in Q4 2010.