A closer look at AMD’s Brazos platform

A little over a week ago, I flew down to AMD’s Austin campus for a short visit. Waiting for me there was the hot Texas sun, which provided a welcome reprieve from the cold and rain of Vancouver, as well as a few precious hours of hands-on time with a machine running AMD’s new Zacate accelerated processing unit. On top of that, AMD disclosed some fresh details about the Brazos platform that will catapult Zacate into ultraportables, nettops, and netbooks early next year, allowing me to fly back home with a pretty complete picture of AMD’s next big thing.

Now for the bad news: while I have a spreadsheet bursting at the seams with benchmark data I collected from the development system, AMD won’t lift the press embargo on Zacate benchmarks for another little while. Luckily, pretty much anything beside cold, hard numbers is fair game—and there’s plenty of that to go around. Over the next couple of pages, we’re going to take a look at what makes Brazos tick, what the first Zacate APUs will look and perform like, and how much you can expect to pay for products based on them.

Now, I should point out that this won’t be an exhaustive look at the new Bobcat microarchitecture that powers Zacate’s microprocessor component. Scott already covered Bobcat in detail this summer; if you don’t already know what makes Bobcat different from past AMD architectures, you should read his article.

In short, though, Bobcat was fashioned from the ground up for low-power systems. You can think of it as AMD’s answer to the Intel Atom, except Bobcat emphasizes power-efficient performance more than extreme power efficiency. Fully out-of-order instruction execution, 64-bit extensions, and hardware virtualization are all be on the menu. AMD claims the architecture can deliver performance almost equivalent to that of today’s entry-level desktop offerings, yet dual Bobcat cores can still huddle together with an integrated GPU inside a 9W thermal envelope.

Bobcat, meet Brazos

The first two Bobcat-based designs are accelerated processing units, or APUs for short—essentially microprocessors sharing die space with graphics processing components. AMD code-names those two APUs Zacate and Ontario, having tailored the former for an 18W thermal envelope and the latter for a 9W TDP. Despite the different code names, both parts are actually based on the exact same silicon. They occupy 75 mm² of die area and fit onto 19 x 19-mm, 413-ball BGA packages just like the one pictured above. Both are manufactured using TSMC’s 40-nm fab process.

That 75 mm² die includes not just two Bobcat cores, but also a GPU component with video decoding logic, a single-channel DDR3 memory controller, and a “platform interface” block with PCI Express lanes and display outputs. Together with Hudson, an auxiliary chip that provides additional I/O connectivity, Zacate and Ontario make up the platform code-named Brazos.

Before we delve deeper into Brazos’ I/O capabilities, let’s first talk about its graphics component. The GPU built inside Zacate and Ontario shares the same foundation as AMD’s DirectX 11 Radeons. It includes two SIMD arrays with 40 ALUs each for a grand total of 80 ALUs, or stream processors, per chip. GPU clock speeds range from 280MHz on Ontario to 500MHz on Zacate. AMD complements those resources with a UVD3 block—the same one found in discrete, 6000-series Radeons—which will assist the Bobcat cores with the decoding of H.264, VC1, DivX, and XviD video. Fittingly, the machine I tested detected Zacate’s GPU as a Radeon HD 6310 in the Windows 7 Device Manager.

As one would expect, this GPU component shares memory bandwidth with the CPU cores. There won’t be a whole lot of bandwidth to share, mind you, because the chip’s memory controller only supports up to two DDR3 DIMMs running at 800-1066MHz along a single, 64-bit channel. You’re looking at maximum theoretical memory bandwidth of about 8.3GB/s, and that’s shared across the entire APU.

Zacate and Ontario will also have built-in PCI Express connectivity. There will be four PCIe Gen2 lanes to connect the chip directly to third-party network controllers or a discrete graphics processor, with an additional four Gen1 lanes linking the APU to the Hudson chipset (or “Fusion Controller Hub”). AMD calls the link between the Hudson FCH and Zacate/Ontario the Unified Media Interface (UMI), but from what I’ve been able to gather, that’s fancy-talk for a plain-jane, four-lane PCIe connection.

What does Hudson look like? I don’t have a sexy chip shot with a quarter for reference, but AMD’s spec sheet paints a pretty good picture. The Hudson FCH is built on a 65-nm fab process and has a 23 x 23-mm, 605-ball BGA package—slightly larger than the APU it accompanies. Power consumption ranges from 2.7W to 4.7W for “typical configurations.” Inside Hudson lurk the four PCIe Gen1 lanes required for the UMI interface, an extra four PCIe Gen2 lanes, six 6Gbps Serial ATA connections, 14 USB 2.0 connections, and built-in fan control logic.

The presence of 6Gbps SATA might seem a tad over-the-top, since few netbooks or ultraportables are likely to sport ultra-fast solid-state drives capable of pushing the boundaries of the 3Gbps standard. Still, it’s good to see AMD isn’t cutting too many corners. Folks hoping to build, say, cloud computing clusters out of Brazos systems may find some use for the fast storage ports, too.

Because Brazos supports discrete GPUs, it can arrange all of that I/O connectivity in one of two ways. In the first configuration depicted below, Brazos happily relies on its integrated graphics and hooks up Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11n Wi-Fi straight to the APU, with Hudson handling more menial duties.

The second diagram shows Brazos outfitted with a discrete graphics processor. In this case, the discrete GPU is connected directly to the APU via four Gen2 PCI Express lanes, and Hudson plays host to the networking controllers.

One thing to note is that both Hudson and Zacate/Ontario can run their non-UMI PCI Express lanes at either Gen1 or Gen2 speeds. AMD says it recommends using Gen1 for “the power benefit,” but in the context of a nettop or an ultraportable with discrete graphics, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Gen2 speeds used. (If you’ve lost your computer standards reference manual, PCIe Gen1 lanes can push 250MB/s in each direction, while Gen2 lanes have twice as much bandwidth.) Four PCIe Gen2 lanes may not be optimal for high-end discrete graphics, of course, but they should suffice for low-end notebook GPUs likely to accompany this platform.

That’s Brazos in a nutshell: a low-power, two-chip solution with enough computing, graphics, and I/O resources to keep a lot of folks happy. Intel’s Pine Trail platform is starting to look a tad anemic in comparison. As you’re about to see, though, Brazos and Pine Trail might both be tailor-made for low-power systems, but they’re not quite fighting over the same turf.

 

Parts and positioning

After speaking with the folks at AMD, and after tinkering with a Zacate rig myself, I believe the best way to think about Brazos isn’t so much as an Atom competitor, but as a successor to AMD’s existing Nile ultraportable platform. AMD just had a slightly different set of priorities this time around. CPU performance has gone down a little bit, giving way to greater graphics horsepower and overall power efficiency.

Brazos has double the graphics ALUs of Nile’s IGP, and AMD quotes a 10-50% improvement in raw graphics performance. Nile already had fairly decent gaming chops considering its low-power credentials, so that ain’t nothing to sneeze at. On the power efficiency front, Brazos trims platform TDP from 25W to 21W, with active core power draw tumbling from 10.8W on average to just 6.5W. Consequently, AMD expects to see battery life spiral up to 8.5-9 hours for Zacate laptops with 55Wh batteries. Ontario netbooks will purportedly reach a stratospheric 10.5 hours. Those are official estimates, of course. AMD quoted roughly eight hours of run time for Nile earlier this year, but we got just under five hours of web browsing out of our first Nile notebook using a 61Wh battery.

In any case, AMD will have four Brazos offerings ready for launch. Two Zacate-based models will make up the E series, while two Ontario APUs will materialize as C-series parts. All four chips will support DDR3-1066 memory speeds and feature 512KB of L2 cache per core, UVD3 video decoding logic, and hardware virtualization capabilities.

Processor CPU cores CPU clock GPU ALUs GPU clock TDP
AMD E-350 with Radeon HD 6310 graphics 2 1.6 GHz 80 500 MHz 18W
AMD E-240 with Radeon HD 6310 graphics 1 1.5 GHz 80 500 MHz 18W
AMD C-50 with Radeon HD 6250 graphics 2 1.0 GHz 80 280 MHz 9W
AMD C-30 with Radeon HD 6250 graphics 1 1.2 GHz 80 280 MHz 9W

AMD is targeting the E-350 and E-240 specifically at nettops and ultraportable notebooks with list prices in the $399-449 range. The C-50 and C-30 will populate cheaper, lower-specced systems, which some might be tempted to call netbooks. I doubt we’ll see Ontario sparring with Pineview Atoms in $250, 10-inch machines, though, if only because of the product positioning chart AMD showed me:

See how the Atom is at the bottom of the pack, shoved under the C-series offerings? That pretty much says it all. Admittedly, AMD said this slide reflects its aim on the pricing front, not performance. I wouldn’t necessarily expect APUs like the C-30 to run circles around the Atom N450 in raw CPU performance benchmarks, but AMD will surely have a leg up on the graphics and video decoding side of things. That could justify a small price premium over your typical netbook.

Incidentally, sharp-eyed readers might have noticed the new HD Internet badge in the slide above. AMD says this label signals that Ontario is suitable for “HD Internet browsing,” watching “HD videos online,” and tasks like “email, chat and social networking.” Meanwhile, the plain Vision umbrella, which Zacate falls under, means users can “run mainstream software applications,” enjoy “fast HD Internet browsing” and “casual games,” and watch “DVDs and online HD videos.” I suppose Ontario laptops will catch on fire if you try to plug-in a DVD drive or play Bejeweled, then.

Performance impressions

The question on everyone’s lips must now be: how does Brazos fare against the competition from Intel? Some folks might also be wondering how it compares to Nile, its most direct predecessor. As I said earlier, AMD has slapped a momentary embargo on benchmark numbers obtained last week, but it doesn’t mind us discussing performance in more general terms, without raw numbers.

So, that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

Let’s first tackle the elephant in the room. Yes, Zacate gives Intel’s Atom processors a whupping—even the dual-core N550. In the CPU performance tests we ran, the AMD E-350 test rig didn’t stray too far from either our Nile-based Toshiba Satellite T235D notebook or Zotac’s Zbox HD-ND22, which contains a Celeron SU2300. AMD did have the test rig set up with a 128GB Crucial RealSSD C300, so applications loaded quicker than they would have on a real consumer ultraportable, but the E-350 system still felt pleasantly snappy in web surfing and other, non-storage-bound tasks. That tracks pretty well with AMD’s goal of delivering “good enough” CPU performance.

What about the graphics side of things? I won’t spoil the numbers here, but I will say that, when AMD talks of Brazos beating Nile’s graphics performance by up to 50%, it’s not singling out a best-case scenario. I wouldn’t recommend making a Brazos laptop your primary gaming rig, of course—integrated graphics are what they are—but I think it’s fair to say this platform sets a new high-water mark for mobile AMD IGPs. And thanks to UVD3, high-definition video playback isn’t a problem. All of a sudden, the future of Atom-based netbooks with next-gen Nvidia Ion graphics is looking grim. Very grim.

More detailed analysis will have to wait for our performance article with the full results, but in broad terms, I was impressed by what Brazos had to offer. Not only is it an engineering achievement in itself, being the first AMD processor to feature the Bobcat microarchitecture, the first AMD processor to feature an integrated GPU on the same die as the CPU, and the first AMD processor based on TSMC’s 40-nm bulk silicon fab process. But it also packs quite a punch, delivering solid CPU performance and great graphics performance for its segment.

The only remaining mystery—for me, at least, since you folks still haven’t seen the benchmark data—is battery life. Considering Brazos’ spartan power requirements, AMD might just be able to turn the tables and offer longer run times than Intel CULV systems. That would be a really big deal. However, AMD did make bold claims about Nile’s battery life without completely delivering, so I’ll reserve judgment on that point until we get our hands on our first Brazos notebook.

Comments closed
    • swaaye
    • 9 years ago

    I wish it had dual channel memory. That would be amazing (for IGP capability).

    • AMDATIHQ
    • 9 years ago

    Looks like I will be getting a new laptop

    • MrDigi
    • 9 years ago

    Interesting they went with TSMC instead of GF. I would think porting the graphics to GF would have been a priority with all the TSMC problems.

      • NeelyCam
      • 9 years ago

      Maybe it just implies that GF is also having problems… Lots of reports on Llano getting delayed (Llano=ported graphics to GF SOI)

        • stmok
        • 9 years ago

        And maybe you continue to demonstrate your ignorance?

        The reason they picked TSMC on 40nm is because they had to push something out in place of the delayed Llano.

        Llano was planned to be released in Q1 of 2011. Yield issues back in June forced them to change their release schedule. Since Ontario/Zacate are simpler designs, they can be made quicker. TSMC can do it fast on 40nm…So now they have something to release for early 2011.

        If they were having issues at GF, why are they picking up ARM-based processor contracts?

        Why have Bulldozer prototypes (32nm SOI) come back meeting AMD’s standards?

        Llano is having yield issues, because of the complexity of the design. Not because GF is having issues with the process. AMD have canceled two APU-based projects (Falcon and Swift) in the past. It clearly hints that putting a GPU on-die with x86 cores isn’t easy as it seems. But it doesn’t look like AMD isn’t giving up until it succeeds. (It failed miserably with the 45nm process.)

          • NeelyCam
          • 9 years ago

          l[

            • stmok
            • 9 years ago

            l[

    • odizzido
    • 9 years ago

    I am going to be praying ever so hard for some 9 inch neotebooks based on this stuff.

    • FuturePastNow
    • 9 years ago

    The E-350 and a 12″ screen- that’s the ticket.

    • ronch
    • 9 years ago

    I’ve been itching hard to buy a new laptop soon. I think I’ll have to wait for Llano or Zacate to hit the shops. That’s like a year from now if I want to be able to choose between the big names like Asus (pronounced ‘Ah-sooos’!), Acer, Lenovo, HP and Dell. Time to take out the Calamine lotion for my big itch.

    • eitje
    • 9 years ago

    q[

    • zdw
    • 9 years ago

    One thing I’ve loved about AMD is their support of ECC memory even in budget products. Any chance this supports ECC?

    With those 6 6Gbit/s SATA ports, this would make a kick ass home server/embedded device processor.

      • stdRaichu
      • 9 years ago

      Chances are not. Opteron/Phenom chips got it across the board because they were designed first and foremost as server processors – it didn’t make sense to have a desktop and server version of the same IMC (read: multiple die casts) if the rest of the functionality was the same. Hence they could include ECC functionality at zero extra cost on the desktop versions of their CPU lines.

      Since this is a clean-room “budget” desktop platform, I doubt the memory controller was designed with ECC support. Happy to be proved wrong however ๐Ÿ™‚

    • SoulSlave
    • 9 years ago

    I guess I’ll wait a while longer for my next laptop purchase. I was considering the Toshiba T235D, but the article mentions exactly this notebook when comparing the two platforms. I mean, this was the best note I could find with a decent integrated graphics for a reasonable price here in Brazil. And the article mention comparable performance, with better graphics, and HOPEFULLY, better battery life…

    Here prices are a little wired too, as ANY offering packing an Intel chip with comparable performance, costs almost 50% more… I guess battery time justifies this…

    Well, another 3 months won’t kill anyone…

    • HisDivineShadow
    • 9 years ago

    Wow. I just noticed something very annoying for my tastes! I see that Bulldozer is showing for the “Scorpius” platform for desktops ONLY. Notebooks high end (match for i7) is merely a Danube refresh and crappy Phenom-based Llano. No Bulldozer for notebooks in 2011?

    Man, that is going to suck because Sandy Bridge is going to mop up in the lion’s share of the PC market if that doesn’t change. Last I checked, desktops were shrinking and notebooks are increasing. Not every laptop needs to be low-power and AMD hasn’t introduced a truly powerful laptop CPU in a really long time.

    This COULD be an indicator that the CPU is a power gobbler or a heater if they aren’t comfortable putting it in notebooks. That’d be a shame. Either way, it would appear that I’ll wind up with a Sandy Bridge-based laptop next year if AMD doesn’t get its head out of its butt and change their minds…

    Because Llano isn’t going to keep up with the mobile i7’s.

      • sweatshopking
      • 9 years ago

      It depends what you do with your laptop. For a user like myself, who predominately games, llano will be fast enough for my cpu needs, and the advanced graphics will make it a much better all around performer. Especially for things like video transcoding, which I can do on the gpu. In total integer performance, you’re right, i7 will be faster. But llano will be a better all around performer.

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 9 years ago

      Laptops are selling more because it’s now about $400-500 to get one that will do everything most people want them to, not because people suddenly had some sort of, “Whoa, I can buy an i7 laptop instead of an i7 desktop!” revelation.

      Protip: laptop quad-core i7s are $400+ for *[

        • smilingcrow
        • 9 years ago

        โ€œThe Sandy Bridge models (quads) run very high clock speeds and will be battery murderers just the same as the existing ones.โ€

        Idle power draw for the SB quads is supposedly the same as for an i3. Since you can also use switchable graphics you can now have a quad core with discrete graphics which is also very efficient at idle which will make a massive difference compared to the current mobile quads.
        The current i7 mobiles are 45nm and SB will be 32nm and have a higher IPC which will lead to a dramatic improvement in performance per watt.
        Overall the SB platform makes mobile quads seem a reasonable balance between performance and portability for the first time.

        โ€œAMD don’t bother with it because Intel has already oversaturated that market and there’s no sense in stretching themselves thin for nothing.โ€

        That makes sense, itโ€™s better to choose your fights wisely when your competitor outguns you significantly.

    • deruberhanyok
    • 9 years ago

    Oh, AMD. I’m interested in seeing Brazos systems, both portable and desktop, as the idea of a setup like this appeals to me for many reasons. But… “HD Internet”? Really?

    Sigh. Marketing.

      • Palek
      • 9 years ago

      Next up: 3D e-mail!!!

        • Trymor
        • 9 years ago

        3D chat, skype, facetime…

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 9 years ago

      They’re probably referring to watching youtube videos in HD.

    • juampa_valve_rde
    • 9 years ago

    Also TDP could be improved over time when the manufacture gets mature enough. With extra room in TDP, frequency can go up (1,8-2 ghz). What i really dislike is the price target for this systems… is supossed to compete with atom, but a 400 usd netbook sounds expensive to me.

      • Hattig
      • 9 years ago

      Seen the prices of dual-core Atom netbooks?

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 9 years ago

      It’s not supposed to compete with Atom. It’s nowhere near as limited in scope and will replace AMD’s existing low to midrange laptop platforms. Look at page 2 of this article.

      If you want some sort of next-generation netbook then you would do better to look to the coming wave of smartbooks that will be here before Bobcat. The concept of a netbook is pretty much dead.

        • MrDigi
        • 9 years ago

        Sure, netbook sales are growing double digit even though there are more competing products from CULV and iPads.

    • dragmor
    • 9 years ago

    Shuttle, I’m looking to replace my existing desktop… and this looks like the chip for it. You better announce a model in Jan.

      • eitje
      • 9 years ago

      with ICE cooling and a fanless power supply!

        • dragmor
        • 9 years ago

        Yeah that’s my thinking. 1 Fan on the Ice system, everything else internal and passive. Room for raided 2TB greens and an SSD.

      • NeelyCam
      • 9 years ago

      How /[

        • dragmor
        • 9 years ago

        My desktop is basically A64 3500+ 1GB DDR 6600GT (was 9550 with 2xDVI, but the card died). It has more than enough power, if only this nforce3 chipset played nice with SSDs.

        • eitje
        • 9 years ago

        I’m a low-power, low-noise enthusiast. My primary desktop is an Atom N330 w/ ION chipset. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        I don’t consider that bad, since my goal is low-power (<30W under load) and low-noise (fanless Zotac board).

        If Shuttle made a case for this chip, I might finally be able to replace the SD11G5 as my favorite Shuttle system ever.

          • NeelyCam
          • 9 years ago

          Amen, brother. I’m with you with the low-noise/low-power… I was just teasing the other guy.
          I built a fanless/noiseless system out of i5.. definitely higher power at load than yours, but higher performance as well.

          Anyways, I think this Ontario/Zacate thingy is breathtaking. Good riddance to Atom in PCs… although I can’t wait to have ultra-low-power atoms in cell phones.

    • Hattig
    • 9 years ago

    I wouldn’t mind one of these on a mini-iTX board to replace my ancient VIA C3 at 800MHz that is gathering dust.

    I also expect a future lower-wattage version with just 40 SPUs.

    I expect a 1GHz Bobcat core is roughly equal to a 1.6GHz Atom core.

      • xastware
      • 9 years ago

      We’d probably never see 40SP APU as they all share some of older ATi GPU designs and 40SPs are simply so Y2k8. Much better would be if we’d seen some RV900/Northern Island derivative, or even Southern one, in NG Krishna/Wichita APUs @28nm that will share same half-SIMD principle seen in RV710/Cedar(“RV810), but then 4 half-SIMDs with 32SPs each instead these 40SPs. That improved 128SPs version would probably consume less, even on bulk 28nm GloFo, than this Zacate APU.

      They already said NG-APUs will have 2-4 Bobcat cores so at least we’d get more CPU power if we needed, but think that Quad of half-SIMD totaling to 128SPs would be more appreciated feature than plain 2 more cores which on 28nm probably with L2 wouldnt consume more than 10mm2/(core+512L2)

    • vvas
    • 9 years ago

    I’m really hoping for Zacate to land on Lenovo’s refresh of the ThinkPad X100e. If they do that, this will probably be my next laptop, and the first time I’ll actually be tempted to buy a new one. (The other option is a used X200, they’re pretty cheap by now.)

      • Edgar_Wibeau
      • 9 years ago

      Same here!
      It’ll replace my atom N270 based netbook.
      I’ve been looking at the Thinkpad Edge 11 with K325, but I VERY MUCH prefer non-glare screens – and surfaces as well.

      • BlackStar
      • 9 years ago

      Same here! ++

    • tejas84
    • 9 years ago

    …what a yawnfest!

    • AlvinTheNerd
    • 9 years ago

    In performance per watt, Brazos should kick pineview’s butt. And even most SULV based Intel systems.

    One of AMD’s biggest issues has always been node size. Once AMD is on the same node footing, they do very well.

    This time around, AMD has the advantage. They now have two fabs and half node steps. So they are introducing Brazos on a 40nm platform where as the SULV and pineview is built on 45nm. Intel can respond since they have 32nm silicon, but its going to be difficult for them to produce all of Sandy Bridge as well as new SULV and new atoms at 32nm right away.

      • Game_boy
      • 9 years ago

      TSMC’s 40nm is about on par with Intel’s 45nm on key characteristics. They are actually quite different processes; Ontario has MUCH higher transistor density than 45nm Atom (much more than you’d expect from the half shrink) but Intel has lower power per transistor.

      • xastware
      • 9 years ago

      “Intel can respond since they have 32nm silicon, but its going to be difficult for them to produce all of Sandy Bridge as well as new SULV and new atoms at 32nm right away.”

      I wouldn’t bet it would be *hard for intel* to produce 32nm Atoms caused by SandyB is filling up production line. After all SB will be pricey little chip and they could easily produce “budget Atoms” for quarter/sixth of SB size for 100USD/piece but the real problem intel has now is that they couldnt offer competitive product and so highly integrated as AMD on 32nm. And integrated GPU on SandyB took up 25% of it’s die size while it maybe don’t outperform even those Cedars integrated in Zacate.

      I’d bet we wouldn’t see many 32nm Atoms cause intel’s is realy pushing towards 22nm node and they could easily ramp it up even before end of 2012 for sub 80mm2 products. This would make SB-class GPU even smaller and that way they could have ~40-45mm2 GPU with similar/better performance than one in Zacate, if tablets are really their goal. But that’s almost 4x smaller node than current 40nm AMD has, andt while Atom”3″ ramp up on 22nm AMD will probably offer its 4C/(128)SPs NG Krishna/Wichita APU on 28nm with maybe even better perf/TDP than 22nm Atoms

      And 22nm is yet again important for Intels now.Larabee2 and their intended entry into GPU market.

    • Bluekkis
    • 9 years ago

    With plenty of SATA options I’m really looking forward to this. Perfect replacement for my mITX based file server.

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 9 years ago

      Yeah that’ll be interesting when someone bothers to put one on a standard motherboard. I’ll have a dual 1ghz, passive cooled, thanks!

    • esterhasz
    • 9 years ago

    75mm2! That IS small – smaller than Pineview, I think. Let’s hope that this will help AMD survive the Sandy Bridge flood…

      • SoulSlave
      • 9 years ago

      I don’t really think it will… Intel takes its time when refreshing architectures, I mean they (normally) first introduce high end models, then mainstream and higher notebook offerings. Only later they usually introduce their lower power/performance ones, leaving their older (already tweaked) generation in charge of that market segment for a while. So, I guess that, at least for the first months, AMDs counter to SB will be solely BD…

        • MrDigi
        • 9 years ago

        Not this time if you read the reports. SB to have 20% of desktop market share by Q2, this is more than the high end, and i3 versions in Q2. Also poor yields at TMSC will kill the die size benefit.

      • xastware
      • 9 years ago

      “Let’s hope that this will help AMD survive the Sandy Bridge flood”

      Somehow i’m not willing to believe that intel will offer even 2C SandyBs at discount prices. And they should came at least quarter later than 4C ones.

      So until Bulldozer shows up and i dont think Sb would be really affordable and then people would wish they wait for always late AMD that performs better than highly anticipated on-schedule SandyB. Let’s just hope that at least first BD will came out in middle of Q2 than in H2-lateQ3 next year.

    • LiamC
    • 9 years ago

    Depending on how the benchmarks/battery life pans out, an E-350 based thin and light could be my next notebook.

    BTW Cyril, did you get the clock speeds mixed up in table? You have 2 x 1.6 GHz cores equal to 1 x 1.5 GHz core…

      • Cyril
      • 9 years ago

      Nope, those are the specs AMD gave me.

      • Lans
      • 9 years ago

      Me too. This is definitely on my watch list.

    • sigher
    • 9 years ago

    The problem with highly integrated chips from AMD is the same as with the ones from nvidia, you have to trust a lot on AMD’s drivers, and we to know that that isn’t a good idea really, drivers are not their strong suit, so having their drivers so overwhelmingly controlling things means you can’t exactly call the thing stable computing I’m willing to bet.

      • Applecrusher
      • 9 years ago

      Much better than Intels drivers – which is the only real other option down that low.

        • leigh crusio
        • 9 years ago

        I have not had any issues with ATI drivers other than a really old integrated SATA Raid controller / AHCI. That was sorted easily enough with a small download.

        Their GPU drivers seem very stable to me so im looking forward to downloading one driver package that sorts the whole lot, its better than searching for some random NIC driver from a site in .tw !

          • vvas
          • 9 years ago

          As you might (or might not) have noticed, Hudson does not have any built-in networking logic, so hunting NIC drivers in .tw is still fair game. ;^)

    • wiak
    • 9 years ago

    blame the OEMs (aka Dell, HP, Toshiba etc) for bad battery life ๐Ÿ˜‰
    most of them use old bioses, old drivers, am pretty sure they will put a fan controller chip in even when amd has built it into their SB ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • sigher
    • 9 years ago

    It’s the quarter! it’s haunting me ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    • yuriylsh
    • 9 years ago

    Based on what you said and if it delivers 6-9 hours of battery life during moderate usage it could be a very, very attractive proposition.

    • shank15217
    • 9 years ago

    Ooo its on now!

    • Decelerate
    • 9 years ago

    Is it a loose NDA or is every NDA allowing such general remarks (including announcing an estimate to the end of said NDA)?

    Because I love it.

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