Tuesday, June 14, 2011

AMD launches mobile Llano, the second "Fusion"

After Brazzos (AMD "E"), the company announced Llano, its new platform that uses a chip "Fusion". AMD's new line "A" will come to replace the Athlon Xx II in mid range, with some interesting graphics. A test is scheduled on Tom's Hardware a few days, but we will present here the different chips. As with its Intel Atom or AMD Sandy Bridge and E, A is the AMD Unified: it has a northbridge, a processor and a graphics card in the same chip.

It is not yet the new ARM SoC (which also incorporate the southbridge) but it comes close. The AMD A are etched 32 nm by Global Foundries, with SOI technology and High K. The chip is full, but AMD does not indicate the number of transistors, apparently because different variants are in fact using the same die with disabled or defective parts.

Presumably, as often with AMD versions that incorporate only the necessary circuitry emerge later, when the process is completely mastered. While I use an AMD core created from scratch, Bobcat, AMD's use a core (four in practice) from work on the K10 (Stars). A bit faster than the Athlon II as AMD, this new core is essentially different in one respect: the Level 2 cache memory.

It goes from 512 KB per core to 1024 KB per core. Some small internal improvements are expected to earn about 5% at the same frequency. AMD has incorporated two new features: a finer management of consumption, both at the CPU than the GPU, and Turbo mode, which can improve performance on applications that do not use all cores.

The integrated GPU is a chip of the family of Radeon 5570, Redwood alias. We thus find 240, 320 or 400 units of calculation, with three possible configurations at the record: 1 / 8, 2 / 16 or 2 / 20 (Pipeline / texture). The frequency varies between 400 and 444 MHz mobile models and the memory is shared with the processor on a bus 64-bit dual channel.

DDR3-1600 is supported on mobile versions (1866 on the desktop versions) and the UVD 3, with support for Blu-ray VMC is the game. PCI-Express is supported by the APU, with 24 lines. 16 are dedicated to a possible external graphics card - includes the AMD CrossFire support in AMD A -, 4 are provided for connection to the chipset and 4 other chips are available for external controllers such as Wi-Fi, Ethernet, etc..

The chipset, which wears the name of FCH (Fusion Controller Hub) is available in two versions: the A70M and A60M. Both support standard interfaces, including SATA 6 Gbit / s, but only the first directly supports USB 3.0 (with 4 connectors). The range includes seven models. The first three, the A8 3530MX, 3510MX the A8 and A8 3500M, a graphics chip offering complete, with 400 units of calculation to 444 MHz.

AMD has chosen to call this latest Radeon HD 6620G. The three chips have 4 cores and support DDR3-1600 memory on the MX-1333 and DDR3 on M. The first APU is working at 1.9 GHz (2.6 GHz Turbo) with a TDP of 45 W while the second operates at 1.8 GHz (2.5 GHz Turbo) with the same TDP. The third reached 1.5 GHz (2.4 GHz Turbo) with a lower TDP of 35 W.

Fleas 3410MX A6 and A6 have a 3400M graphics chip limited to 320 units to 400 MHz, which is called Radeon HD 6520G. Here we find also 4 cores, 1.6 GHz (2.3 GHz) on the first and 1.4 GHz (2.3 GHz) on the second APU. The memory remains of DDR3-1600 on the MX and DDR3-1333 on M. The TDP is 45W on the MX and 35 W on M.

Finally, the A4 and A4 3300M 3310MX have only 2 cores ( 2,1 / 2,5 GHz on the first, 1.9 / 2.5 GHz on the second) and a chip limited to 240 units to 444 MHz (Radeon HD 6480G). The 3310MX has a TDP of 45 W and the 3300M a TDP of 35 W. In both cases only the DDR3-1333 is the game. Finally, the chips appear to be effective Llano and performance should follow, which is not the case with AMD chips E, whose core Bobcat is inefficient.

While many manufacturers seem to follow AMD - Radeon brand is an argument effective sales - remains to be seen whether sales will follow. Indeed, both the graphics front, AMD is that Intel's processors as themselves are slower than Core i3. Do users prefer the graphics performance to CPU performance? Good question.

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