New York - AMD today introduced its second-generation A-series Accelerated Processor Unit (APU), and the company will have a tablet processor ready when Windows 8 ships later this year.
Trinity processors are directly targeted for use in ultra-thin laptops. Leslie Sobon, AMD's product platform marketing VP, said the company is purposefully taking a different angle in developing processors for ultra-thin laptops than Intel is with its Ultrabook concept. In order to obtain Ultrabook status, a laptop must meet certain criteria set by Intel.
"We are not dictating anything to the vendors. We feel the market is struggling due to a lack of differentiation, and we want to help companies accomplish this," she said.
Sobon said AMD does make certain recommendation on how an ultra-thin laptop should be constructed, but it is not willing to issue specific instructions.
AMD said Trinity delivers twice the performance per watt and an overall 29 percent increase in CPU performance compared to the first-generation chip. This is accomplished with AMD's new Piledriver CPU core that uses AMD's third-generation Turbo Core technology to shift power between the CPU and GPU depending upon need.
Sobon described the new Trinity APUs as more of a graphics processor than a CPU, and thus enables better gaming and video playback.
Power savings enhancements with Trinity can now deliver about 12 hours of battery life, AMD said.
Of all the features Trinity will deliver into the ultra-thin category, instant-on is the most highly regarded by consumers, according to AMD's research, Sobon said.
Trinity improves upon its predecessor Llano processor by using half the power, 17 watts and packing in 1.303 billion transistors onto the silicon, compared with 1.178 billion. Trinity is scalable upward to 100 watts for use in traditional desktop computers.
On the tablet front, Sobon said AMD will focus on developing a sub 5-watt processor for tablets running Windows 8 when that operating system is released. Sobon said AMD will focus on Win 8 devices because that OS is optimized to run AMD's APU.
However, AMD can also develop a processor for Android devices if its developers request it, Sobon said, adding that the Android tablet processor field, while still small, is crowded, so the company is better off focusing on Windows-based devices.