Back in 2011, AMD launched the Llano series of APUs. These chips combined CPU cores derived from the Phenom II line with an IGP based on the Radeon HD 5000 series GPUs. At the time, AMD was excited about the first steps towards its Fusion concept and talked up Llano perhaps a little too much, as the chips ended up a year and a half late and had underwhelming performance. In 2014, a group of disgruntled AMD shareholders filed a class-action suit against the company claiming that AMD overpromised and underdelivered with its first-generation APU hardware. Now, AMD has made an offer to settle that suit to the tune of $29.5 million.
The suit alleges that AMD made "false and misleading" statements about its ability to manufacture and supply Llano APUs to customers, as well as about the chips' competitiveness in the market. Despite AMD's own admission in 2011 that it was having supply issues due to poor chip yields, the suit holds that the company claimed it would have "ample product available at launch" for its first-generation APUs. The suit also says that AMD reported it was "well positioned" to get Llano into PCs for the back-to-school season at the time.
The settlement is only an offer at this point, as Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers still has to give her approval. If the offer is approved, AMD can finally be rid of this whole mess. As a bonus, the company doesn't have to admit any wrongdoing, either. Supposedly we'll hear more information from both sides of the case on October 9.
Llano was originally set to be the very first AMD APU. The chip series was supposed to release in 2009 and go head-to-head with Intel's first-generation Core hardware, against which it might have been a credible competitor. Instead, it released in August 2011, eight months ater the Bobcat-based Zacate series. Against the very impressive second-generation Core hardware—perhaps better known as Sandy Bridge—it was crushed in CPU performance benchmarks. Llano chips like the A8-3850 offered impressive integrated graphics performance for the time, but that horsepower was easily outpaced by even cheap discrete graphics cards. Furthermore, by the time Llano was ready for market, the next-generation Trinity chips weren't far behind, and ultimately AMD had to write down $100m in unsold Llano chips.
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