Details of AMD Llano mobile CPU lineup
Earlier this week DonanimHaber published details of forthcoming AMD mobile "Llano" microprocessors from "Sabine" platform. Based on their information, the mobile line-up will be comprised of four families, targeting different sectors of the mobile market: high-performance A8-Series, mid- to high-performance A6-Series, budget and mid-class A4-Series, and entry-level E2-Series. You may notice that the family names and associated market segments are identical to desktop CPUs, although features of mobile parts are different:
All high-performance mobile processors from A6- and A8-Series have 4 CPU cores, and feature twice larger, than current generation of mobile Danube chips, 4MB L2 cache. "M" microprocessors will come with 35 Watt Thermal Design Power, while "MX" parts are going to have higher 45 Watt TDP. Base clock frequencies of quad-core mobile processors will range from 1.4 GHz to 1.9 GHz. All models will have Turbo Core feature enabled, and the maximum turbo frequencies will be in the 2.3 - 2.6 GHz range. A8-Series will incorporate Radeon HD 6620G graphics with 400 shader units and 444 MHz clock rate. A6-Series processors will have Radeon HD 6520G 400 MHz graphics with 320 shaders. On-chip memory controller on both series will support standard- and low-voltage DDR3 memory, whereas "MX" CPUs will also support DDR3 memory with 1600 MHz data rate. In our opinion, the frequencies of "Llano" quad-cores are not stellar. The fastest A8-3530MX CPU comes with 1.9 GHz base frequency, which is a few hundred MHz lower than 45nm mobile microprocessors from current AMD Danube platform. Lower frequencies on "Llano" chips will be partially compensated by larger L2 cache and tweaked micro-architecture, but it's still possible that the new mobile products will have lower performance in multi-threaded non-graphical applications than the Danube Phenom II X4s. On the other hand, inclusion of the Turbo Core technology on all models, regardless of their market segment, is a long awaited step, and it's a perfect example of why competition is good.
AMD A4-Series cuts the number of cores to two, the size of L2 cache to 2 MB, and the number of shader units to 240. Again, there will be 35 Watt "M" and 45 Watt "MX" SKUs. Clock rates of A4-Series chips look disappointing, when compared to current AMD Turion IIs and Phenom IIs. If the tweaked microarchitecture doesn't add extra 15% or grater performance boost, then we can expect that the 32nm A4-series parts will be slower in non-graphical tasks than yesteryear's Danube processors.
E2-Series will be used on low-end notebooks, and currently the series consists of one model, E2-3000M, with 2 CPU cores, 1 MB L2 cache, 1.8 GHz core frequency, and Radeon HD 6380G graphics. Judging by features of the E3-3000M model, the E2 family will replace Athlon II line of mobile processors, and will offer about the same or better performance in single-threaded apps, and worse performance in multi-threaded tasks than Athlon II P360 CPU.
All in all, the new mobile microprocessor line-up is a mixed bag. Integrated graphics is a welcome addition for casual gamers, while dedicated gamers will probably want discreet video card. Turbo Core should be a great boost for dual- (for quad-cores) and single-threaded applications, although the range of base frequencies falls short compared with current generation of mobile products. Other noteworthy features of the new "Sabine" platform are larger L2 cache on quad-core processors, and ability to upgrade system graphics by upgrading the CPU.
Related News (newer articles):
Dec 20, 2011: A6-3670K and A8-3870K surfaced in AMD product database
Sep 07, 2011: New AMD A-Series mobile APUs sighted
Jun 15, 2011: AMD launches A-Series APUs for Notebooks
Jun 12, 2011: Details of mobile Llano A-Series CPUs surface on AMD website
Related News (older articles):
May 17, 2011: Details emerge on AMD A8-3530MX Llano CPU