Looks like AMD's quad-core accelerated processing units may hit the streets sooner than anticipated. In a blog post yesterday afternoon, AMD announced that production shipments of Llano APUs have officially begun.
The company says it defines production chips as "the units that will ultimately be in the systems that our [original equipment manufacturer] partners will ship to retailers or end-customers," so we're talking about final, ready-to-go products shipping out into the wild. The blog post even includes a photo from the company's Singapore factory as evidence:
(In case you can't see the text on the banner, it says, "Launch of 1st 4 core Fusion Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) Llano (Sabine) first shipment - March 2011.")
Surely, the question on everyone's lips is now: when will we see the first Llano-powered systems? Some folks probably wouldn't mind an ETA of the first retail-boxed Llano CPUs, either. The blog post doesn't reveal a precise retail release schedule, but it does quote a statement by AMD Interim CEO Thomas Seifert that says Llano machines will be in the market "this quarter." So, you can count on at least something coming out by July. If I were a betting man, though, I'd put money down on a prompter retail debut.