Not long after their revelation of AMD's FX-Series lineup, Xbitlabs has now published the preliminary A-Series list. The first A-Series APUs will be released in Q3 2011, rumoured to be July 2011, in total 6 APUs. There will be a minor refresh in Q4 2011, adding 5 more APUs – presumably a minor speed bump and on maybe a newer stepping. The A-Series consists of three lines – A8, A6 and A4. A8 is the fully unlocked Llano APU with 4 Husky x86 cores with 400 SP Beavercreak graphics – branded Radeon HD 6550, with a core clock of 594 MHz. Each core contains 1MB L2 cache, for a total of 4MB L2 cache. Like Propus, Llano completely eliminates L3 cache. On the CPU front, the A6 is rather similar – quad core with 4MB cache, though perhaps featuring lower clocks. A6 has a different graphics implementation – HD 6530 – which features 320SP @ 443 MHz. Finally, A4 features dual core (2MB L2 cache) with 160 SP, branded HD 6410.
The A-Series top part at launch will be the A8-3550P, with a TDP of 100W. A8-3550 (without the P) will feature a 65W TDP, and is presumably a lower-clocked / lower-votlage version of the A8-3550P. The A6 series follows a similar pattern – the A6-3450P with 100W TDP followed by the A6-3450 with 65W TDP. Finally, we have the A4-3350 dual-core with 65W TDP. These five parts will be released in Q3 2011.
In Q4 2011, AMD will refresh the line-up across the board with what is most probably minor speed bumps. All A-Series APUs will be fabbed at 32nm Globalfoundries SOI, fitting the FM1 socket and supporting DDR3-1866.
The 11th product is not really A-Series, but rather, Llano in E-Series form. The E2-3250 will be a crippled dual-core Llano with a lower clock speed to both CPU and GPU. It will feature only 1MB L2 cache, supporting upto 1600 MHz DDR3. While the preliminary TDP is listed as 65W, we can expect this to be the low-power version of Llano.
AMD has been talking about Fusion for several years now – integrating a GPU and CPU on the same die. Ironically, Intel was the first to release such a product with Sandy Bridge. However, Sandy Bridge is essentially a performance CPU with a minimalist IGP. AMD has reworked this concept significantly, giving Llano's GPU part a significant die budget and serious horsepower. The trade-off, compared to Sandy Bridge, will be inferior CPU performance but vastly superior GPU performance. The key to AMD's Fusion concept will be the acceptance of GPGPU technologies in general applications, and how this enables effective multi-tasking. For casual gamers, the A-Series may readily offer an excellent value proposition.