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AMD Llano Unveiled - A Notebook Platform Preview

AMD Llano Unveiled - A Notebook Platform Preview


Vision Computing Enhanced

Vision Computing Enhanced

The new A-series APUs also come with the third generation of AMD's Unified Video Decoder (UVD3) which now supports video acceleration of more formats. UVD3 first debuted in the Radeon HD 6000 series desktop GPUs, which the APU's Radeon graphics cores are based upon. To recap, apart from its support for VC-1, H.264 and MPEG-2 (IDCT profile) decoding since the introduction of UVD2, AMD has now added support for Blu-ray 3D (multi-view CODEC), MPEG-4 part 2 and DviX/Xvid. With the dedicated UVD3 in the chip, video playback quality will be enhaced thanks to dedicated decode and processing/scaling engine. In addition to that, by utilizing the UVD3 portion of the CPU, much of the other subsystems can be powered down (in sleep mode) to save battery power. Besides that, UVD3 also supports faster transcoding of video.

AMD is also introducing a new feature known as AMD SteadyVideo in the A-series APU. Using the AMD APP technology (Accelerated Parallel Processing), this feature utilizes both the integrated GPU and CPU to analyze the playback of internet video to produce shake-free video in real-time. In case you miss our point, the keyword here is 'real-time'. The Steady Video algorithm knows when you're watching videos on the internet (e.g. YouTube) and it post-processes video to remove the camera shake. This means that watching home made movies on YouTube is no longer a Blair With Project affair since videos will be less nauseating. Users can also control how much they want SteadyVideo to compensate via the AMD VISION Engine Control Center.

In addition to that, AMD's A-Series APU also enhances the quality of video playback. AMD claims that it scores very well in the HQV Benchmark (which it does anyway with its regular discrete line-up of Radeon graphics) when it comes to decoding, de-interlacing, motion correction, noise reduction, film cadence detection and detail enhancement. Such video enhancements will give video playback a much more pleasant experience especially when you're dealing with lower quality videos or when upscaling DVD movies into 1080p (full HD) displays.

Before we head on to benchmarks in the next page, let's compare the specifications of all the three mobile variants in the table below.

Specifications of the AMD Fusion APU
 
VISION A8 APU

VISION A6 APU

VISION A4 APU
Radeon Cores 400 320 240
SIMDs 5 4 3
Texture Units 20 16 8
Render Back Ends 2 2 1
Z/Stencil ROPs 32 32 16
Color ROPs 8 8 4
Memory Interface 2x64-bit 2x64-bit 2x64-bit
Memory Data Rate (DDR3) 1.6Gbps 1.6Gbps 1.333Gbps
GPU Clock Speed 444MHz 400MHz 444MHz
Peak Compute 355 GFLOPS 256 GFLOPS 142 GFLOPS