AMD officially launches A-Series processors for notebooks

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Continuing with its Fusion family rollout AMD has now officially launched their A-Series of accelerated processing units -- or APUs. Unlike the low-power flavor of Fusion chips already on the market, the C-Series (Ontario) and E-Series (Zacate) for netbooks and budget laptops, the A-Series (Llano) was designed with desktops and mainstream laptops in mind and will be the first from AMD made using a 32-nanometer manufacturing process.

AMD is taking direct aim at Intel's Core 2011 processors with seven laptop APUs across three families, available as the A4, A6, and A8. The dual-core A4 chips will compete with Core i3 processors, while the quad-core A6 is going after i3 and i5 chips, and the quad-core A8 will take on Intel's range topping i5 and i7. Here's a quick look at their specs:

Model CPU clock CPU cores L2 cache Radeon GPU Shaders GPU clock TDP
A8-3530MX 1.9GHz/2.6GHz  4 4MB HD 6620G 400 444MHz 45W
A8-3510MX 1.8GHz/2.5GHz 4 4MB HD 6620G 400 444MHz 45W
A8-3500M 1.5GHz/2.4GHz 4 4MB HD 6620G 400 444MHz 35W
A6-3410MX 1.6GHz/2.3GHz 4 4MB HD 6520G 320 400MHz 45W
A6-3400M 1.4GHz/2.3GHz 4 4MB HD 6520G 320 400MHz 35W
A4-3310MX 2.1GHz/2.5GHz 2 2MB HD 6480G 240 444MHz 45W
A4-3300M 1.9GHz/2.5GHz 2 2MB HD 6480G 240 444MHz 35W

All models support features such as HDMI 1.4a, DisplayPort 1.1, and USB 3.0, as well as multi-monitor setups, 3D gaming and 3D Blu-ray playback. A-Series chips will also offer the option of adding a separate discrete graphics card on top of the bundled GPU, in a setup called AMD Dual Graphics that is said to boost graphics performance by up to 75%. Furthermore, AMD is also touting 10-plus hours of battery life, or 50-60% more than comparable laptops from last year.

In terms of pricing, systems with the A4, A6, and A8 chips are expected to start around $499, $599, and $699, respectively. AMD expects more than 150 laptops and desktops to use A-series parts starting almost immediately. Toshiba has already announced the new Satellite P700, equipped with the AMD A6-3400M, while HP has updated eleven of their Pavilion and ProBook laptop models to include the latest AMD parts.

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