Shortages of AMD A-Series Chips May Be Over as AMD Rolls-Out Refresh

AMD Quietly Starts to Sell Higher-Performance A-Series "Llano" APUs

by Anton Shilov
12/21/2011 | 06:40 AM

Advanced Micro Devices this week started to sell a new breed of its A-series accelerated processing units (APUs) code-named Llano that have higher clock-speeds and thus better performance. The refresh of the product lineup may indicate that AMD has more or less managed to solve shortage issues with its most powerful Fusion chips designed for mainstream PCs.


"The new parts are basically speed bumps, and I am taking the fact AMD can ship faster versions of A-series chips as an indicator they may be able to improve their availability. Retailers such as Newegg and Amazon couldn’t get their hands on early versions of the chips because they were so production constrained," said Nathan Brookwood, principal of Insight64, reports EETimes web-site.

On Thursday AMD added five new A-series APUs for desktops as well as eight new A-series "Fusion" chips for laptops. All Fusion processors based on Llano design feature two, three or four x86 cores code-named "Husky" that are based on the outdated micro-architecture as well as modern Radeon HD 6000-series DirectX 11-class graphics adapter.

Among other products released this week are AMD A8-3870K (4 cores at 3.0GHz, 400 stream processors at 600MHz, 4MB L2 cache, 100W TDP) and A6-3670K (4 cores at 2.70GHz, 320 stream processors at 600MHz, 4MB L2 cache, 100W TDP) with unlocked clock-speed multiplier aimed at gamers, performance enthusiasts and overclockers. The new "Black Edition" chips are priced at $135 and $115, respectively, and may be a good choice for those in budget and with overclocking ambitions.

It remains to be seen how significantly AMD manages to improve availability of its chips and whether the success with potentially improved Llano yields will automatically mean better availability of AMD's second-generation A-series APUs code-named Trinity due in late Q1 or Q2 2012.