AMD to Offer “Graphics Free” Llano Chips – Sources

AMD Intends to Introduce 32nm Athlon II, Sempron Chips

by Anton Shilov
08/17/2011 | 12:44 PM

Although Advanced Micro Devices earlier this year officially confirmed plans to completely get rid of microprocessor branding, the company has quietly decided to introduce chips made using 32nm process technology in FM1 packaging under Athlon II and Sempron trademarks, according to a source with knowledge of AMD’s plans.

 

With the introduction of A-series accelerated processing units (APUs) AMD also rolled-out new FM3 platform for mainstream offerings. But while AMD’s code-named Llano APUs do offer up to four x86 cores and a desktop-class graphics adapter, not everyone needs integrated graphics solutions and many prefer discrete chips. In order to address those customers, AMD plans to offer “graphics free” Llano chips, a source indicated.

The new central processing units will be made using 32nm process technology and will have similar characteristics similar to Llano APUs (advanced power consumption management, performance tweaks, etc.), but will naturally lack graphics adapter. The novelties will only be compatible with FM1 mainboards.

 AMD intends to offer the “graphics free” Llano processors under Athlon II and Sempron brands. The first model – Athlon II X4 631 (2.60GHz, 100W, 4MB L2 cache) – is already listed on the company’s web-site. Thanks to 1MB of level-two cache, the new Athlon II should provide higher performance than previous-generation offerings with 512KB cache per core in certain cases. 

Since the new Athlon II and Sempron are made using 32nm process technology and are generally inexpensive (the Athlon II X4 631 costs $79 in 1000-unit quantities), they may become popular among overclockers.