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June 13, 2011

AMD Unveils A-Series APUs

AMD’s Fusion Developer Summit is taking place this week in Bellevue, WA and AMD is taking the opportunity to launch their high-end series of APUs (Accelerated Processing Units). If you recall – 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!

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 excellent HD graphics capability and over 10.5 hours of battery life.

AMD has done work with the A-Series APU to ensure it has the necessary “horse power” to handle the most performance-demanding applications through parallel processing. Laptops with an A-Series APU have 400 gigaflops of performance horse power while desktops have 500 gigaflops. Specifically, this will help with video and image processing for example.

All A-Series APUs utilize what AMD calls their VISION Engine that combines hardware and software to provide the best experience possible for digital content such as videos and games. 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 Internet Explorer 9, you get the benefits of hardware-accelerated HTML5 and Direct2D performance while browsing the web on a PC with an A-Series APU since is it has discrete level graphics capabilities built right in!

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.

It’s very exciting to continue to see the hardware innovation our partners are doing!