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At its financial analyst day event on Thursday, Advanced Micro Devices disclosed peculiarities of its forthcoming platform for ultrathin laptops. The code-named Trinity accelerated processing unit in ball-grid array form-factor will let PC makers to create notebooks with premium quad-core CPU and high-quality graphics that are only 18mm thick and that cost just about $600.

At the FAD, AMD demonstrated a prototype of a laptop powered by a unique quad-core AMD quad-core A6 ULV "Trinity" accelerated processing unit (APU) with 17W thermal design power. The prototype was actually a reference design jointly developed by AMD and Compal and was a 13" wide-screen laptop just 18mm thick. Compal, a contract maker of electronics, may start producing notebooks using this design for interested parties, whereas other notebook makers may create their own ultra-thin mobile computers powered by AMD Trinity.

"The 18mm reference design from Compal is what many OEMs are looking at. We believe that this will bring the ultra-thin form-factor into $600 - $800 price-point. This is [an evidence of] the value of APUs because you really have performance that you need at the power envelope that you need at the right price-point," said Lisa Su, general manager of global business units at AMD.

The 18mm thickness for a reference design of an inexpensive laptop is a remarkable achievement. For comparison: Apple Macbook Air is up to 17mm thick, Lenovo ThinkPad X1 is up to 21.5mm thick and the world's thinnest notebook - Samsung Series 9 900X3B - is 12.9mm thick. Unfortunately, AMD's reference design is made of plastic, whereas typical ultra-thin mobile PCs are made of metal. It is likely that AMD specifically recommends its partners to use inexpensive materials to ensure low price of its ultra-thin notebooks, but that will clearly affect quality.

AMD attempts to offer better pricing on Trinity-powered ultra-thin machines in order to successful compete against Intel Corp.'s ultrabook initiative. AMD-based ultrathin notebooks are projected to be at least $200 cheaper than machines powered by Intel Core i 3000-series “Ivy Bridge” microprocessors. Lower price is supposed to compensate lower x86 performance of AMD’s Trinity compared to Intel’s Ivy Bridge. At the same time, AMD-based ultrathin machines will offer faster and more capable graphics engine. Moreover, based on AMD promises, it will offer 17W quad-core microprocessors, which should provide decent responsibility.

At present it is unknown when the laptops with AMD A6 ULV "Trinity" processor with 17W TDP will become available.

Tags: AMD, Trinity, Southern Islands, Radeon, Fusion, Ultrabook


Comments currently: 14
Discussion started: 02/03/12 06:48:34 AM
Latest comment: 03/09/12 10:21:20 AM
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Trinity looks like a great APU and certain to surpass Ivy Bridge laptops.
4 3 [Posted by: beenthere  | Date: 02/03/12 06:48:34 AM]

Sony VAIO Y-Series E-450 netbook has the AMD Radeon HD 6320 GPU built-in and is actually quite
fast for the platform and overall cost.

Trinity seems to be a mid-generation release that improves on the previous Llano but keeps the same restricted cache size.

All that said, I am also very eager to get my hands on the new Kaveri and Kabini APU!
2 0 [Posted by: rgathright  | Date: 02/03/12 09:10:33 AM]

Only grandmas use intel base ultrathin. they may look classy but surely they are dumb. Never in the near future will intel can compete on AMD's fusion APUs, Intel graphics are the worst in the industry. It can comfortably run solitaire which is grandma's favorite game.
2 0 [Posted by: xybit  | Date: 02/04/12 10:26:04 AM]
- collapse thread

I wish I can agree, but intel has ~100K employees and is trying to make the best graphics

with intels money and workforce, I think it can make some good graphics in the near future

I still wish the opposite though
0 0 [Posted by: madooo12  | Date: 02/05/12 02:32:22 AM]
They have had more then 6 years to "make better graphics" .. they even "almost" released a add in card product a few years ago that was a complete flop and was canned.... the Number 1 reason Intels graphics are so bad is in the compatability and drivers with "games" ... AMD and Nvidia have been around for so long they both improve the software side of graphics cards along with hardware to make games run the best they can... unlike untel who only release hardware and the software is next to worthless... 100k employees with about 1 or 2 of them working on the graphics drivers LOL haha

Intel IS improving but at a much slower pase then AMD or Nvidia and thats the problem!.

For every step forward intel makes in graphics AMD and Nvidia take half a step more!
0 0 [Posted by: vid_ghost  | Date: 02/05/12 02:16:44 PM]

I'd pay 900-1000$ for an AMD aluminium ultrathin. It would rock my world.
1 1 [Posted by: Jermelescu  | Date: 02/06/12 10:38:02 AM]

Since AMD doesn't actually make the laptops I think we'll need to wait and see what the OEMs offer. I suspect most of the ultrthins will be in the $400-$600 range. A shiny one may be $100 more???? I'd also like a 11"-13" Trinity powered laptop so someone had better be listening.

Today price drops on Ultrabooks were hinted at because they are not selling well and Trinity is about to show. AMD powered untrathins should still be several hundred cheaper and far better than Ivy Bridge.
1 1 [Posted by: beenthere  | Date: 02/07/12 08:07:35 AM]


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