AMD Llano design
AMD is keen to point out that the Llano design concept radically differs from Intel’s Sandy Bridge. While AMD says that Intel has dedicated half the die space of Sandy Bridge to CPU processing cores and only around 20 per cent to ‘Graphics/Media’ transistors, a Llano die is split more equally between its three constituent parts.
AMD has a different strategy to that of Intel, based on its graphics superiority
and insistence that GPGPU is the future of computing
If anything, it looks like the Graphics/Media portion of Llano accounts for a little over 33 per cent of the die area judging by AMD’s pie charts. However, not all Llano A-series processors are equal, so the die-share proportion will change depending on the model.
Llano is a fairly complicated beast, even though the CPU
portion has only received minor updates
The prominence of the Graphics/Media portion of the Llano design is significant, as it backs up AMD’s commitment to (or gamble on, depending on your point of view) OpenCL
and other GPGPU computing APIs such as DirectCompute.
It’s possibly a curious move from a historically x86 CPU maker and designer, but AMD believes that it’s ‘very hard to show you need more x86
’ than a fast quad- or 6-core CPU, and that demanding software will increasingly favour a GPGPU-related path.
AMD Llano Range
As a mainstream processor targeted at laptops and basic desktop PCs, the range of A-series APUs only extends to a quad-core CPU with up to 400 stream processors. The CPU portion also benefits from Turbo Core technology to dynamically overclock it, working in a similar way to Intel’s Turbo Boost technology.
|AMD A-series Laptop APUs|
|Model||CPU cores||Frequency (Base - Turbo)||Level 2 Cache||Memory||Radeon GPU||GPU Stream Processors (Frequency)||GPU Memory Interface||TDP||Estimated Cost of Laptop|
|A8-3530MX||4||1.9GHz - 2.6GHz||4MB||1,600MHz DDR3 (1,333MHz DDR3L)||HD 6620G||400 (444MHz)||128-bit||45W||$699+|
|A8-3510MX||4||1.8GHz - 2.5GHz||4MB||1,600MHz DDR3 (1,333MHz DDR3L)||HD 6620G||400 (444MHz)||128-bit||45W||$699+|
|A8-3500M||4||1.5GHz - 2.4GHz||4MB||1,333MHz DDR3 (1,333MHz DDR3L)||HD 6620G||400 (444MHz)||128-bit||35W||$699+|
|A6-3410MX||4||1.6GHz - 2.3GHz||4MB||1,600MHz DDR3 (1,333MHz DDR3L)||HD 6520G||320 (400MHz)||128-bit||45W||$599+|
|A6-3400M||4||1.4GHz - 2.3GHz||4MB||1,333MHz DDR3 (1,333MHz DDR3L)||HD 6520G||320 (400MHz)||128-bit||35W||$599+|
|A4-3310MX||2||2.1GHz - 2.5GHz||2MB||1,333MHz DDR3 (1,333MHz DDR3L)||HD 6480G||240 (444MHz)||128-bit||45W||$499+|
|A4-3300M||2||1.9GHz - 2.5GHz||2MB||1,333MHz DDR3 (1,333MHz DDR3L)||HD 6480G||240 (444MHz)||128-bit||35W||$499+|
|Note: 'DDR3L' refers to low-voltage DDR3 memory, rated at 1.35V|
|Also: AMD E2 range will serve $399+ price range of laptops, while HD Internet-branded laptops will cost less than $399|
There will be seven models of Llano-based A-series APUs at launch, which slot into three types. A4 APUs will be dual-core and have basic GPUs with 260 stream processors and only 2MB of Level 2 cache. A6 and A8 APUs will both be quad-core processors with 4MB of Level 2 cache; A6 processors will be twinned with a 320-stream processor GPU while A8 processors get the full 400-stream processor GPU. TDPs of these vary between 35-45W and the Turbo Core frequencies seem healthy too.