Computex 2011 Show Coverage - Part 4


AMD's Trinity - 2012's Greatest APU?

AMD's Trinity - 2012's Greatest APU?

AMD held their annual Computex press conference earlier today to provide the media and the industry with updates and their focus moving forward. Admittedly, we've to say it wasn't as exciting as the previous years, but a lot of this supposedly has to do with the fact that AMD has got their act right and are putting out products that people really want to use - such as the Fusion class of accelerated processing units (APUs).

With that said, the biggest highlight of the event is Rick Bergman (Senior VP & GM of AMD's Products Group) pulling out from his pocket the next generation APU - codenamed Trinity, this is going to be manufactured on the 32nm process technology featuring the Bulldozer CPU architecture, a definite jump in processing prowess from the current APUs based on the Bobcat CPU architecture. It will of course feature DX11 graphics processing hardware and would likely be on an AM3+ package though it's hard to say for certain now. Said to be the next year's best APU, here's the video snippet on what matters most:-

AMD's Senior VP and GM of Products Group, Rick Bergman, shows off next year's best APU product - Trinity.

AMD also shared their APU roadmap progression, or otherwise simply known as the Fusion platform. As you can see in the middle of the presentation below, the APU codenamed Llano is this year's performance orientated Fusion processor with up to four cores and a Radeon HD 65xx class of graphics built-in. It's not yet in the market, but you'll hear from us in a couple of weeks and see corresponding products in retail soon enough. This APU is geared for mainstream systems and notebooks.

The near-term Fusion APU roadmap.

Ontario and to some extent Zacate are the first salvo of Fusion CPUs that were launched earlier this year and cater to the netbook, nettop segment. Now if you focus on the 2012 line-up, you'll see that the above mentioned Trinity APU based on a newer architecture will succeed the Llano. In the same fashion, Krishna will succeed the current Ontario and Zacate chips with an enhanced Bobcat architecture, which is mainly a die-shrink to the 28nm bulk process.

Now that we're done sharing the cool bits of the press conference, we detail a few other matters that would interest you. Still on the Fusion family of APUs, AMD now thinks it has spent enough time toying with the first generation Fusion platform and it's now prime enough to be implemented even in tablets. These APUs will be based directly on the current C and E-series of APUs (which are the Ontario and Zacate chips respectively), but they will feature a much lower TDP of below 6 watts. This tablet oriented APU will be identified as the Z-series and would come about later this year.

Fusion will also be heading into the embedded computing space and it's probably high time since computing requirements are ever rising and the multimedia centric APUs would be ideal. These APUs will be identified under the G-series and will have the following characteristics:-

AMD's new G-series of APUs will cater to the embedded computing market of products.

With the inclusion of the Z and G-series of APUs, this is how AMD's Fusion line-up would look like for this year:-

The complete AMD Fusion family of APUs for 2011.

Having seen how the Fusion range of APUs will evolve, AMD also provided a few other updates that will help shape the DIY enthusiast market and the retail scene of complete systems and notebooks:-

AMD's 9-series of chipsets are officially launched today, but there was little else detailed on how the new chipsets will pan out. The main highlights are as seen in the slide:- to embrace the new AM3+ socket and features of the design, SATA 6Gbps support throughout with a newer storage controller, and better CrossFireX support. We'll give you more details on both the chipset and the socket as we tackle the appropriate products in the coming weeks ahead.

Zambezi is the codename given to AMD's high performance enthusiast consumer CPU based on the Bulldozer architecture. Expect these to be on sale within 3 months - a marked improvement over the supposed delay that might have kept it out of competition if it came any later.

For the rest of the consumers, AMD has revamped their Vision based marketing to define the capabilities of a system. In this photo, we helped overlay the current naming scheme against the new naming scheme. While the description and the number of tiers remain, AMD has added a numerical tag scheme to the Vision brand name to help quickly denote the capability level - A4, A6, etc. Thus, descriptors like 'premium' and 'ultimate' have been tossed in favor of simplicity.

And on this slide, here are the other logos that would see accompanying the main Vision marketing where applicable. These are basically feature highlights like denoting quad-cores and when there are dual GPUs for added graphics crunching power.