Arctic Announces First Products with Next-Gen AMD Trinity A8 and A10 APUs
Back in 2011, Swiss-Hong Kong brand Arctic announced its entrance into the world of all-in-one HTPC's with their MC001. The company was satisfied with the market success of the first generation part and decided that the time has come to unveil its successor.
New HTPC is the first one that is solely tailored for the role of a living room device. MC101 carries the tag line "Entertainment Always" and the company is following suit with a very sleek design. The interesting bit is that this compact HTPC is powered by the upcoming AMD Fusion "Trinity" processors carrying a familiar name "A8", and not so familiar "A10". Both processor lineups will be powered by the Trinity silicon, i.e. next-generation CPU core codenamed "Piledriver" with the GPU core codenamed "Northern Islands".
According to the associated slide, AMD "Trinity A8" comes with Radeon HD 7640G, while "Trinity A10" comes with Radeon HD 7660G, implying this will be a higher performance part (current Fusion APUs top out with X500 series). According to Arctic, the products will be released when AMD decides to launch Trinity-based Fusion APUs, which could be CeBIT 2012 in March, or Computex Taipei 2012. Given the timing when Llano was introduced to market, we would assume the second option is a more realistic one.
Do note that Arctic is deliberately not mentioning AMD's "Fusion" brand in any part of the press release. This comes from an interesting legal case taking place: few days ago, a report came out that Arctic actually plans to sue AMD over the Fusion brand, claiming it has filed for a trademark before AMD. The problem with that could be that AMD was saying Fusion for their future products before that power supply trademark was filed – both came out in 2006. However, that is a legal matter and knowing Arctic's previous love for threatening individuals or companies with litigation, it might be that MC101 line of products is a way of making a peace offer.
Then again, the calling of not growing, but exploding market of advanced set-top boxes. For example, Intel is currently shipping over 30,000 set-top-boxes per day… in EMEA region alone alone! Yes, that's 900,000 devices per month, all powered by a variant of a 45nm Core processor, named Pentium for the sake of argument.