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AMD Demonstrates Trinity APU, Its Own Thunderbolt-Alternative

AMD's next-generation accelerated processing unit (APU), codenamed "Trinity", was demonstrated at CES. Trinity will make up AMD's 2012 A-Series APU lineup, and will be designed for mainstream-thru-performance notebooks, and mainstream desktops (different standards for different form-factors). Pictured below is what its notebook-specific BGA package looks like. The package has an exposed rectangular die, with a stabilizer frame around it (like with GPUs). Notebooks' cooling assembly heat pipes make direct contact with the die. Trinity packs two Piledriver modules (an evolution of Bulldozer), and DirectX 11.1 AMD Radeon HD 7000M graphics (notebook APU) or HD 7000D (desktop APU).

Shown to the CES crowd was a mind-boggling demo. The public were first shown what appeared to be an ATX desktop connected to two monitors, one monitor running a DIRT 3 DirectX 11 game demo at high-quality settings, and another screeen revealing the APU to be running GPU-accelerated video transcoding. No discrete graphics was used, it's just the embedded HD 7000 at play/work. If that alone didn't raise a few eyebrows, the AMD representative removed the lid of the ATX desktop case to which those two monitors were connected, to reveal a 14-inch laptop inside doing all the work. And there's more - the laptop's main screen wasn't idle, it was running a high-definition video playback. Whatever synthetic benchmarks end up telling about Trinity, its real world performance does impress!

You have got to watch the video after the break!

3D Gaming Now Possible on Toshiba Glasses-Free 3D Laptop

Toshiba’s Digital Products Division (DPD), a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., today announced Optimized for NVIDIA GeForce 3D support for the groundbreaking Qosmio F755 3D, enabling users to experience glasses-free 3D gaming1 for the first time ever on a laptop. The update is currently available for download via Toshiba’s Service Station utility.

“We have been working closely with NVIDIA to bring 3D gaming capabilities to the Qosmio F755, a killer feature that has yet to be realized in the PC industry,” said Carl Pinto, vice president of product development, Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., Digital Products Division. “Now gamers can experience hundreds of PC games in stunning 3D without the burden of wearing 3D glasses. This update brings a new level of play to 3D PC gaming.”

Lenovo Announces 7 New Business Notebooks

Lenovo today announced its new portfolio of small-to-medium business (SMB) laptops loaded with serious business technology and personal lifestyle computing features. The portfolio includes the premium ThinkPad Edge S Series to the mainstream ThinkPad Edge E Series to entry-level laptops in the essential Lenovo B Series, available in select markets. The chic ThinkPad Edge S430 laptop comprises high style and genuine substance with performance technologies and innovations like the latest Intel Core processors and Thunderbolt technology. The ThinkPad Edge 11, 13, 14 and 15-inch laptops include new useful technologies like Lenovo Solution Center to solve common IT tasks, while simultaneously addressing users' entertainment needs with rich visual and deluxe audio features.

ASUS EeePC Flare Unveiled

Facing a two-front competition from other netbook manufacturers and the ARM tablet industry, ASUS, one of the pioneers of the netbook form-factor, is readying a new line of fashionable-looking netbooks under the EeePC Flare series. Press pictures of these netbooks got leaked to the web by Notebook Italia, which reveal EeePC Flare series to be a colorful bunch of machines that are so designed to look curvy and fashionable, breaking the "compact" design mold of today's netbooks. They will be shows at the upcoming CES event, next week.

EeePC Flare will be available in two sizes, 12-inch and 10-inch. Among these, the 12-inch 1225B will be driven by AMD Fusion platform (likely E450), while the 1225C will be driven by Intel's new "Cedar Trail" Atom platform (N2600 or N2800). The 10-incher 1025 will stick to Cedar Trail. ASUS will pack these netbooks with features such as 500 GB of storage, LED backlit 720p displays, chiclet keyboards, etc.

Source: Notebook Italia

26 December Launch Date for AMD A8-3870K and A6-3670K Black Edition Unlocked APUs

December thru January looks to be a busy time for AMD. Along with a few new graphics products, AMD will launch new CPUs and APUs. The company has chosen December 26 to launch its A8-3870K and A6-3670K Black Edition "Llano" accelerated processing units (APUs) in the FM1 package, which feature unlocked base clock multipliers for the processor component, making overclocking a breeze. In two of its presentation slides to distributors, it unveiled the swanky new box art of these unlocked APUs.

These chips pack four x86-64 cores based on the "Stars" K10.5 architecture with 1 MB dedicated L2 cache per core, dual-channel DDR3-1866 MHz integrated memory controller, PCI-Express 2.0 root complex, and a "discrete-class" graphics processor that packs 400 VLIW5 stream processors, DirectX 11 support, and the ability to pair with similarly specc'd discrete GPUs. The A8-3870K Black Edition features x86 core clock speed of 3.00 GHz, and Radeon HD 6550D graphics that features all 400 of those stream processors, with 600 MHz GPU clock speed. The A6-3670K Black Edition, on the other hand, has its x86 component clocked at 2.70 GHz, it features Radeon HD 6530D graphics that has 320 out of the 400 stream processors enabled, and a GPU clock of 433 MHz.

AMD Announces Fusion '12 Developer Summit

AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced that AMD Fusion ’12 will be held June 11-14, 2012 in Bellevue, Washington. The company’s annual developer summit will return to the Meydenbauer Center and the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue.

This event will build on the success of AMD Fusion ’11, where more than 700 leaders from industry, academia, and government converged on the forefront of heterogeneous computing. The summit offers an engaging opportunity to learn more about next-generation software development and AMD Fusion System Architecture (FSA), Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) technology, central processing unit (CPU) and graphics processing unit (GPU) processor technologies, and programming methods using industry-standard application programming interfaces (APIs) such as OpenCL, OpenGL, Microsoft DirectCompute and C++ AMP.

New Lenovo ThinkPad Laptop Ruggedized For Students and Schools

Lenovo announced today the ThinkPad X130e laptop, specially ruggedized for education and with the features needed to help students in grades K-12 and their schools get the most out of their PC technology. Equipped with the advanced technology expected for an educational laptop, the ThinkPad X130e comes with choices of the latest Intel or AMD processors and fast, integrated graphics as well as wireless connectivity and multimedia tools for today's digital learning. Designed to be handled by kids, the ThinkPad X130e has a reinforced and extra durable top cover, keyboard and hinges. Schools will also like its performance, reliability and customizable options including asset tags, BIOS modifications, custom imaging and a broad selection of custom colors.

Intel Reveals Details of Next-Generation High-Performance Computing Platforms

At SC11, Intel Corporation revealed details about the company’s next-generation Intel Xeon processor-based and Intel Many Integrated Core (Intel MIC)-based platforms designed for high-performance computing (HPC). The company also outlined new investments in research and development that will lead the industry to Exascale performance by 2018.

During his briefing at the conference, Rajeeb Hazra, general manager of Technical Computing, Intel Datacenter and Connected Systems Group, said that the Intel Xeon processor E5 family is the world’s first server processor to support full integration of the PCI Express 3.0 specification**. PCIe 3.0 is estimated** to double the interconnect bandwidth over the PCIe* 2.0 specification** while enabling lower power and higher density server implementations. New fabric controllers taking advantage of the PCI Express 3.0 specification will allow more efficient scaling of performance and data transfer with the growing number of nodes in HPC supercomputers.

Khronos Releases OpenCL 1.2 Specification

The Khronos Group today announced the ratification and public release of the OpenCL 1.2 specification, the latest update to the open, royalty-free standard for cross-platform, parallel programming of modern processors. Released eighteen months after OpenCL 1.1, this new version provides enhanced performance and functionality for parallel programming in a backwards compatible specification that is the result of cooperation by over thirty industry-leading companies. Khronos has updated and expanded its comprehensive OpenCL conformance test suite to ensure that implementations of the new specification provide a complete and reliable platform for cross-platform application development. The OpenCL 1.2 specifications, online reference pages and reference cards are available here.

“The OpenCL working group is listening carefully to feedback from the developer and middleware community to provide significant and timely functionality for heterogeneous computing in this cross vendor open standard,” said Neil Trevett, chair of the OpenCL working group, president of the Khronos Group and vice president of mobile content at NVIDIA. “The OpenCL working group is also broadening its membership and has growing representation from the mobile and embedded industries and is enabling innovative devices such as FPGAs to be driven through OpenCL.”

AMD FM1 and FM2 Packages Pictured Side-by-Side, Incompatible

Here is the first picture of AMD accelerated processing units in the existing FM1 package and future FM2 package on which the next-generation Trinity APU will be based on. Both packages are very similar, follow AMD's favourite yet archaic PGA design. The pins are physically arranged in a mostly similar fashion, though we don't have a pin map at hand. The difference comes with some of the blanked pins in the sub-central portion of the pin array. The FM2 package has 904 pins, compared to 905 on FM1. One pin is blanked, while a pair of blanked pins are arranged further away from the central cutout.

This makes FM1 and FM2 clearly incompatible. Neither will you be able to use today's A-Series APUs in the FM1 package on future socket FM2 motherboards, nor will you be able to run future FM2 APUs on today's FM1 motherboards. Yet, AMD will port the A75 FCH chipset to the next-generation "Virgo" platform. The FCH or Fusion Controller Hub, like Intel's PCH (Platform Controller Hub), is not much more than a glorified southbridge, and is portable between Fusion platforms as it's essentially a PCI-Express 2.0 x4 device. In the picture below, "Llano" FM1 APU is on the left, and "Trinity" FM2 on the right.

Source: ChipHell

AMD Reports Third Quarter Results

AMD today announced revenue for the third quarter of 2011 of $1.69 billion, net income of $97 million, or $0.13 per share, and operating income of $138 million. The company reported non-GAAP net income of $110 million, or $0.15 per share, and non-GAAP operating income of $146 million.

“Strong adoption of AMD APUs drove a 35 percent sequential revenue increase in our mobile business,” said Rory Read, AMD president and CEO. “Despite supply constraints, we saw double digit revenue and unit shipment growth in emerging markets like China and India as well as overall notebook share gains in retail at mainstream price points. Through disciplined execution and continued innovation we will look to accelerate our growth and refine our focus on lower power, emerging markets, and the cloud.”

AMD Trinity Detailed Further, Compatible with A75 Chipset

AMD detailed its upcoming "Virgo" PC platform that consists of next-generation "Trinity" APU (accelerated processing unit), and current-generation AMD A75 "Hudson-D" chipset. A notable revelation here is that the next-gen APUs will be compatible with AMD A75, although it will be designed for a new socket called FM2. It remains to be seen if FM1 and FM2 are pin-compatible.

"Trinity" packs four x86-64 cores based on the next-generation "Piledriver" architecture, arranged in two Piledriver modules. A module is a closely-knit group of two cores, with certain shared and dedicated resources. Each Piledriver module has 2 MB of L2 cache shared between the two cores. In all, Trinity, with its two modules, has 4 MB of L2 cache without any L3 cache.

AMD and BlueStacks Join Forces to Bring Android Apps to x86-based Tablets and PCs

AMD today announced an investment in BlueStacks, a venture-backed firm developing innovative software. BlueStacks has introduced a solution to enable Android applications to run fast and full-screen on Windows-based devices.

AMD and BlueStacks are collaborating to optimize the BlueStacks App Player for Windows software for use with tablet and notebook PCs powered by AMD APUs with AMD VISION technology. With this combination of BlueStacks software and AMD technology, consumers will be able to access their favorite Android apps on virtually any AMD-powered Windows-based device, including more than 200,000 apps currently available in the Android Market.

Vishera and Trinity to Take Over AMD Processor Lineup in 3Q 2012

The latest AMD 2012 market outlook slides disclosed by DonanimHaber reveal that AMD will have a brand new lineup of processors and APUs by the third quarter of 2012. In the second quarter, AMD will begin with new accelerated processing units (APUs) that succeed the current A-Series "Llano" APUs, codenamed "Trinity". Trinity APUs will make use of next-generation "Piledriver" architecture x86-64 cores, as well, as next-generation Radeon HD 7000 series graphics.

Then in the third quarter, AMD will release its next-generation "Vishera" processors that succeed "Zambezi" AMD FX processors. Vishera will make use of next-generation "Piledriver" modules, and increase IPC (instructions per clock) beyond its predecessor "Bulldozer" architecture. In the interim, AMD will update its A-Series and AMD FX processor lines with new models. These include a new high-end processor, the AMD FX-8170, and two new A-Series APUs, the A8-3870K, and A6-3670K, both of which are unlocked for overclocking.
Source: DonanimHaber 1, 2

Sapphire Announces Pure Platinum A75 Motherboard for AMD A-Series APUs

SAPPHIRE Technology, a leading manufacturer and global supplier of graphics, mainboard and multimedia solutions has just introduced a new mainboard developed to support the latest A-series Fusion APU family from AMD.

AMD’s A-series APUs combine - on a single chip - a Quad core CPU, interface circuitry equivalent to a Northbridge and a DX11 graphics core equivalent to a desktop level graphics card, and also incorporating a 3rd-generation UVD (universal video decoder) for the accelerated decoding of HD and Blu-ray content, including stereoscopic 3D support. This APU series together with the A75 chipset, which has native support for the latest interface standards, such as SATA 6G and USB 3.0 as well as USB 2.0 and PCI-Express Gen2, makes a powerful combination that delivers all the features required in a state-of-the-art PC.

GIGABYTE Rolls Out A75 Motherboards For AMD Llano A8 and A6 APUs

GIGABYTE TECHNOLGY Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, today launched its latest series of motherboards supporting the new AMD A75 series chipsets, and the latest AMD A-Series APUs (codenamed Llano) that are set to take the world by storm with the best graphics performance ever seen on an onboard graphicsprocessor. GIGABYTE A75 based motherboards offer DIY PC builders and integrators a new world of 3D and multimedia performance with the most scalable, and best value upgrade path imaginable.

"At GIGABYTE, we are delighted to bring to market this new and exciting motherboard range, delivering our renowned durability and exceptional feature support to AMD's ground breaking APU technology," commented Henry Kao, VP of Worldwide Service and Marketing at GIGABYTE. "As well as bringing AMD A-Series technology to DIY users who demand excellent gaming and multimedia performance on a budget, these motherboards also offer a compelling upgrade path that includes Dual Graphics configurations."

ASUS Announces New F1A75 Series Motherboards

ASUS today announced the launch of their new AMD A75 chipset-based F1A75 Series motherboards. Designed specially to optimize performance for the AMD Llano APUs, the F1A75 Series motherboards have exceptional overclocking capability for the versatile APU with a variety of integrated graphics built directly on the same die. This new series is also equipped with the latest ASUS-exclusive technologies and features, including the Dual Intelligent Processors 2 (DIP2) with DIGI+ VRM for precise power control, a graphical and mouse-controlled UEFI BIOS and the easy-to-use auto tuning for better performance.

BIOSTAR Releases the Most Powerful AMD APU Mainboards

AMD’s officially launched the new Llano APU platform for market availability in July worldwide, and BIOSTAR is releasing three mainboards that support this new platform at the same time; the “TA75A+”, “TA75M+” and “TA75M”. The advantages of the new AMD A75 chipset based motherboard include native support of USB3.0, DX11 graphic core for greater 3D performance, and BIOSTAR exclusive features (BIO-Remote2, Charger Booster, and etc.).

The new AMD A75 chipset series mainboards, “TA75A+”, “TA75M+”, “TA75M”, all using AMD Hudson-D3 A75 single-chip design, “TA75A+” with ATX form factor and the other two are with micro-ATX form factor. With a brand new heat sink design that also gives a better outlook and better thermal efficiency.

AMD Charts Path for Future of its GPU Architecture

The future of AMD's GPU architecture looks more open, broken from the shackles of a fixed-function, DirectX-driven evolution model, and that which increases the role of GPU in the PC's central processing a lot more than merely accelerating GPGPU applications. At the Fusion Developer Summit, AMD detailed its future GPU architecture, revealing that in the future, AMD's GPUs will have full support for C, C++, and other high-level languages. Integrated with Fusion APUs, these new number-crunching components will be called "scalar co-processors".

Scalar co-processors will combine elements of MIMD (multiple-instruction multiple-data,) SIMD (single-instruction multiple data), and SMT (simultaneous multithreading). AMD will ditch the VLIW (very long instruction word) model that has been in use for several of AMD's past GPU architectures. While AMD's GPU model will break from the shackles of development that is pegged to that of DirectX, it doesn't believe that APIs such as DirectX and OpenGL will be discarded. Game developers can continue to develop for these APIs, and C++ support is more for general purpose compute applications. That does, however, create a window for game developers to venture out of the API-based development model (specifically DirectX). With its next Fusion processors, the GPU and CPU components will make use of a truly common memory address space. Among other things, this eliminate the "glitching" players might sometimes experience when games load textures as they go over the crest of a hill.

Source: TechReport

Toshiba Provides Power, Portability, and Style in Latest Mainstream Consumer Laptops

Toshiba's Digital Products Division (DPD), a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., today announced its latest line of smartly equipped yet affordable Satellite L700 and Satellite C600 Series laptops. Designed for style, versatility and affordability in mind, these laptops deliver the performance needed for everyday computing with prices starting as low as $379.99 MSRP.

Toshiba Introduces New Satellite P700 Series Laptops

Toshiba's Digital Products Division (DPD), a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., today announced a new family of premium laptops, the Satellite P700 Series. Available with Toshiba's textured Fusion X2 finish in Platinum, the Satellite P745, P755/P755 3D and P775 laptops feature 14-, 15.6- and 17.3-inch diagonal HD TruBrite LED backlit screens, respectively. These laptops incorporate essential features for multitasking and multimedia, including latest generation of multi-core processor and technology options, plus premium entertainment and convenience features.

HP Introduces New Notebook Portfolio Powered by AMD

HP today expanded its consumer and business notebook portfolios with 11 new models utilizing AMD's latest VISION Technology for exceptional performance at an affordable price. Powered by AMD's A-series Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) that combine leading-edge CPU cores and powerful discrete-graphics onto a single die of silicon, HP's new notebooks offer solutions for consumers, small and midsize businesses (SMBs) and large corporations.

The HP Pavilion dv-series (Pavilion dv4, dv6 and dv7) provides the ultimate entertainment notebook experience and is equipped with innovative features such as HP CoolSense, HP True Vision HD webcam and HP Beats Audio (Pavilion metal dv6 and dv7). The dv-series also offers more than two times the graphics performance compared with previous-generation integrated graphics.

Acer Readying Tablets Based on AMD Z-Series APUs

Acer has just placed an order for 80,000 pieces of AMD Z-series accelerated processing units. Based on essentially the same design as Fusion "Zacate", Z-series APUs are designed to have lower TDP and to be of higher quality, so they could be deployed in enterprise and IPC (industrial PC) environments. The AMD Z-01 is Acer's choice, this chip combines two x86-64 cores clocked at 1.00 GHz with AMD Radeon HD 6250 DirectX 11 compliant graphics, and a DDR3 memory controller. The TDP of the entire chip stands at 5.9W, it is built on the 40 nm process at TSMC.

Acer's first tablets based on AMD Z-01 will run Windows 7, since Android 3.0 (codenamed "Ice Cream Sandwich") is not going to be out any time before the end of 2011. Acer isn't the only big tablet-maker opting for AMD Z-series over Intel's Atom Pine Trail platform, MSI is also reported to be working on x86 tablets running AMD Z-series. Manufacturers are opting for Z-series over Pine Trail, because the latter has both higher price and TDP. With its relatively faster iGPU, Z-series should be able to drive graphics-intensive custom user-interfaces on tables sized up to 10.1-inches. Industry sources expect AMD to ship up to 500,000 units of the chip in the second half of 2011.Source: DigiTimes

AMD Paves the Way for the Next Gen. of Supercharged Desktop PCs with 9-Series Chipset

AMD today launched its 9-Series chipset line-up today, helping PC builders to develop next generation high performance desktop platforms. The company also unveiled its 2011 HD Tablet Platform, based on the AMD Z-Series Accelerated Processing Unit (APU), enabling vivid media display and content creation capabilities for the fast-growing market of Microsoft Windows-based tablets. These new AMD products are designed to enable more immersive digital experiences for the PC and tablet markets.

“As consumer appetites for more compelling, lifelike visual experiences increase, there is greater need for high performance, smooth, vibrant graphics as well as unparalleled computing power,” said John Taylor, product marketing director, AMD. “From tablets to desktops, AMD is making powerful computing accessible to everyone.”

MSI Charms with A75MA-G55 Micro ATX Socket FM1 Motherboard

Here you are, the MSI A75MA-G55, the kind of motherboard that's dressed for both office and living rooms, or even a sweet family desktop. This micro-ATX motherboard runs AMD Fusion A-series APUs in the socket FM1 package. It uses a 4-phase Military Class II VRM that balances solid-state chokes with regular solid capacitors, instead of expensive high-C ones. The VRM area is cooled by a chunky heatsink of a design we're used to seeing on high-end MSI motherboards, lately.

Expansion slots include one each of PCI-Express 2.0 x16, PCI-E x16 running at x4 speed, PCI-E x1, and legacy PCI. All six of its SATA 6 Gb/s ports are internal. The board features four USB 3.0 including two ports provided via internal header. The rear panel is a crowded place with 8-channel HD audio, USB 3.0, display connectivity including DVI, D-Sub, and HDMI, gigabit Ethernet, and a number of USB 2.0 ports. The board features UEFI with ClickBIOS GUI setup program. Expect mid-range pricing.
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