Llano CPU-GPU chimera begins sampling


— 6:00 AM on April 19, 2010

That Llano processor with its four cores and integrated GPU with may arrive sooner than you think. When AMD revealed its latest desktop and mobile roadmaps last November, Llano's arrival was set some time in 2011. During AMD's latest financial conference call, however, AMD CEO Dirk Meyer provided more specific information. X-bit labs jotted down Meyer's statement:

We plan to commence volume production in the back half of this year. We do now have internal samples of both of our initial Fusion designs, we are learning quite a lot, and are quite happy with what we see, and we started sampling to select customers, one of those two designs.

Perhaps those "select customers" include Apple, which is now rumored to have AMD chips kicking around in its labs. Llano seems like a prime candidate for integration in future Macs.

As we learned in February, Llano will feature four Phenom II-derived cores clocked above 3GHz, 4MB of L2 cache, a graphics processor, and a DDR3 memory controller, all sharing the same slice of 32-nm silicon—and manufactured using GlobalFoundries' silicon-on-insulator process technology, of course. Considering AMD's Turbo Core dynamic clock scaling scheme will soon debut in six-core Phenom IIs, we wouldn't be surprised if Llano included a similar feature, as well.

   
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