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Tuesday, June 14, 2011
AMD Launches A-Series Of APUs


AMD today announced the next generation in mainstream consumer computing with the availability of the new high-performance AMD Fusion A-Series Accelerated Processing Units (APUs).

AMD's Fusion Developer Summit is taking place this week in Bellevue, WA and AMD took the opportunity to launch their high-end series of APUs . An APU is the combination of the CPU and GPU into a single die. AMD?s Fusion family of APU processors is a combination of multi-core CPU (x86) technology with discrete-level graphics.

Back in January at CES, AMD launched their E-Series and C-Series APUs - codenamed "Brazos" - targeting small form factor PCs, netbooks and tablets. Since then - over 5 million units of the E-Series and C-Series APUs have been sold since Q4 2010.

Today, AMD is announcing the A-Series APU - codenamed "Llano" - targeting more mainstream PCs ranging from laptops to desktop PCs to all-in-one PCs.

Starting with the facts, AMD announced three A-Series processors, each in a 35-watt and 45-watt version. The A4 has a dual-core CPU and 240 Radeon graphics cores, the A6 has a quad-core CPU and 320 graphics cores, and the A8 a quad-core CPU and 400 graphics cores. AMD expects system prices to range from US$499 for the A4 to $699 and above for the A8.



The A-Series APU is a much higher-end APU than the E-Series and C-Series APUs. The A-Series APU is a combination of a quad-core processor (4 x86 CPU cores) and discrete DirectX-11-capable graphics (the E-Series and C-Series APUs did not include quad-core processors). Laptops with A-Series APUs will enjoy HD graphics capability and over 10.5 hours of battery life, according to AMD.

Laptops with an A-Series APU have 400 gigaflops of performance horse power while desktops have 500 gigaflops.

All A-Series APUs utilize what AMD calls their VISION Engine that combines hardware and software. For video playback, AMD is introducing a new feature with the A-Series APUs called Steady Video. This feature ensures that videos play steady and smooth and also enables 3D gaming and 3D Blu-ray playback. The A-Series APU supports a variety of connection standards including HDMI 1.4a, DisplayPort 1.1, and USB 3.0.



With AMD Fusion APUs - including the A-Series - you can pair it with a discrete AMD Radeon discrete graphics card for a dual-graphics experience. This means that with a Fusion APU and a discrete Radeon graphics card in a PC you can experience the power of dual graphics with up to an 75% graphics performance boost according to AMD.





The A-Series APU is currently scheduled to appear in more than 150 laptops and desktop PCs throughout the second quarter of 2011.

AMD A-Series Accelerated Processor Models

Model

Radeon model

CPU Clock Speed

CPU Cores on Die

TDP

Total L2 Cache

Radeon

Cores on

Die

GPU Clock Speed

DIRECTX Version

UVD

DDR3 Speed

AMD A-Series Accelerated Processors

A8-3530MX

HD
6620G 

2.6GHz 
/1.9GHz

4 cores

45W

4MB

400

444 MHz

11

UVD3

DDR3-1600/DDR3L-1333

A8-3510MX

HD
6620G 

2.5GHz 
/1.8GHz

4 cores

45W

4MB

400

444 MHz

11

UVD3

DDR3-1600/DDR3L-1333

A8-3500M

HD
6620G 

2.4GHz 
/1.5GHz

4 cores

35W

4MB

400

444 MHz

11

UVD3

DDR3-1333/DDR3L-1333

A6-3410MX

HD 
6520G 

2.3GHz 
/1.6GHz

4 cores

45W

4MB

320

400 MHz

11

UVD3

DDR3-1600/DDR3L-1333

A6-3400

HD 
6520G 

2.3GHz 
/1.4GHz

4 cores

35W

4MB

320

400 MHz

11

UVD3

DDR3-1333/DDR3L-1333

A4-3310MX

HD 
6480G 

2.5GHz 
/2.1GHz

2 cores

45W

2MB

240

444 MHz

11

UVD3

DDR3-1333/DDR3L-1333

A4-3300M

HD 
6480G 

2.5GHz 
/1.9GHz

2 cores

35W

2MB

240

444 MHz

11

UVD3

DDR3-1333/DDR3L-1333



AMD has already provided details on its AMD Accelerated Processors for Ultrathin Notebook PCs and mainstream notebooks (E and C series) as well as for tablets (AMD Z-Series).

AMD is also focused on evolving the APU's architecture to make it appear as a unified processing element to the software programmer. That includes a number of steps expected to continue through 2014 such as:

- Support for C++ features that more fully leverage the GPU as a parallel processor
- User-mode scheduling for lower latency task dispatch between CPUs and GPUs
- Unified memory address space and fully coherent memory shared by the CPU and GPU so they operate seamlessly together

AMD plans to publish a detailed specification on the features and functionality required to meet the requirements of the architecture.


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