A triple-core Llano CPU might be on the way

In recent years, AMD has positioned triple-core versions of its Phenom, Phenom II, and Athlon II processors at the bottom of its desktop CPU lineup. It wouldn't be much of a stretch, then, for the chipmaker to offer a triple-core Llano accelerated processing unit. According to Fudzilla, that's exactly what's going to happen: the site claims it has "been able to confirm" that such a chip will be out some time this quarter.

Reportedly, this unannounced triple-core A-series APU will resemble the A6-3600, one of AMD's still-unreleased 65W desktop Llano chips. The A6-3600 has four cores, a base clock speed of 2.1GHz, a top Turbo Core speed of 2.4GHz, and Radeon HD 6530D integrated graphics with 320 ALUs and a 443MHz core speed. Fudzilla says you'll see "pretty much identical" specs on the triple-core part, just with one fewer core. (There's no word on whether the TDP will be lower because of the missing core, though.)

Producing such a chip surely wouldn't be particularly difficult for AMD. The company's previous triple-core offerings have been quad-core chips with one disabled core, and Llano is based on the same CPU architecture as AMD's Phenom II and Athlon II processors. With the cheapest desktop Llano APU currently selling for $119.99, and signs pointing toward similar pricing for the A6-3600, triple-core variants may be Llano's ticket into the sub-$100 price range.

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