updated 11:05 am EDT, Tue June 14, 2011
AMD Fusion A-series chips go live
AMD on Tuesday formally launched its Fusion-based A-series chips and detailed their performance. The 32 nanometer chips make the expected leap in integrated graphics, which can have 400 visual effects cores and compete with some mainstream dedicated chips yet sit inside the processor itself. A move to a 32 nanometer manufacturing process not only keeps the chips relatively small at 228mm2 but can lead to as much as a 50 percent boost in battery life: AMD has promised as much as 10.5 hours.
Any A-series system can include dedicated graphics and theoretically gets up to 75 percent more performance from the move based on current Radeon HD hardware. Many of them offer dynamic clocking on individual cores and the graphics to reduce power consumption when not under a full load.
All of them can support USB 3.0 from the start and can support 3D over an HDMI 1.4 output. A new feature specific to the A-series is Steady Video, a hardware trick that can compensation for bumps and jolts that lead to rough-looking video.
The full A-series line hasn't been detailed but includes dual-core A4 processors as well as quad-core A6 and A8 chips, most of which are available in either desktop or notebook forms. Systems are shipping from HP, Acer, Toshiba, and other PC builders either today or in the near future.