AMD Delivers Second-Generation Trinity APUs


AMD Tuesday launched its second-generation A-Series APUs, code-named Trinity, which the chip maker said will deliver a lower power envelope and performance boost for desktop and notebook PCs, including its homegrown brand of Ultrathins.

Trinity more than doubles the graphics performance delivered with its predecessor APU, Llano, and has been optimized specifically for notebook gaming and multimedia. Leslie Sobon, AMD's corporate vice president of worldwide product and outbound marketing, said that the design concept behind Trinity was to build an APU that would enhance the content creation and consumption processes deployed by end users. Faster-running applications, Sobon explained, was the end goal.

"We really are focusing this product and developing the technology to be aimed squarely at where people using PCs, how people are using PCs, and where the pain points are for them," Sobon told CRN. "So it's really focusing on the entertainment arena around this, such as video, any kind of content creation, content consumption and gaming."

[Related: AMD Unveils New 28nm Radeon GPUs For Notebooks]

According to AMD, Trinity offers a 50 percent graphics performance increase over rival Intel's i5 Ivy Bridge Core processors.

Developing an APU with a lower power envelope was also on AMD's agenda when designing Trinity. The new APU series touts a thermal display power of 17 watts, compared to Llano's 25 watts, which makes it ideal for use in new and super-thin form factors, including AMD's Ultrathin line of PCs, Sobon said.

"What [lower power] means is that we are not only able to service the mainstream notebook, but you'll see also Ultrathin 18 to 22mm designs from customers as well beginning in May," she said. "You'll see these sleek, thin form factors with great battery life that can support all your games, as well as the mainstream, traditional notebooks we are used to."

AMD is working with software developers to create an ecosystem of APU-accelerated apps, Sobon continued. One of the primary ecosystems it's targeting is Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 platform. Trinity comes with built-in compatibility for Windows 8 with WDDM 1.2 drivers and support for Windows technologies including DirectX 11 and accelerated HTML5 for the platform's new Metro user interface.

In addition to a lower power envelope and a boost in app run times, AMD said that the new Trinity series of APUs offers up to 12 hours of battery life and comes equipped with the chip maker’s new HD Media Accelerator and Quick Stream technologies, for faster video streaming and playback.

Notebooks and Ultrathins running the new Trinity platform are slated to launch in the second quarter, with desktop PCs coming in June.