AMD Takes on Intel’s Sandy Bridge with New Llano APUs

Llano architectureThanks to their acquisition of ATI, AMD has remained competitive in the graphics market with their Radeon series of GPUs. On the processor side, not so much; laptops with mobile AMD CPUs have led a quiet life in the budget segment, with performance that has barely been able to compete with Intel’s entry-level lineup.

Fortunately things seem to be turning around for AMD, because it’s about time that Intel got some serious competition from their only real rival. The company has just announced that they are shipping the new Llano “APU” (Accelerated Processing Unit), which is the next step in AMDs Fusion project.

Just like Intel, AMD is now integrating the graphics part in the same piece of silicon as the processor. However, the difference is that AMD is leveraging their existing Radeon graphics architecture, which is vastly superior to Intel’s counterpart (as most gamers who have tried Intel’s integrated graphics are no doubt aware).

In short: Combine this graphics capability with a new and more efficient 32nm production process, a quad-core CPU plus some other improvements and you have AMD’s Llano. This could be great news for mainstream gaming as these “APUs” find their way into laptops of all shapes and sizes. Some of these APUs will be equipped with integrated graphics on par with current mid-range mobile GPUs with up to 400 shaders. Follow the ‘read more’ link for a very interesting video comparing an AMD A8-3510MX with Intel’s Core i7 2630QM.

When actual products with the new AMD chips will show up at the retailers depends on the OEMs, but the company’s interim CEO hints at sometime late in the 2nd quarter of 2011.

From the AMD Blogs.

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