AMD's Llano chip to reach laptops this quarter

AMD's A-series chips will compete with Intel's Sandy Bridge chips

Laptops and desktops with Advanced Micro Devices' A-series chips will become available from PC makers this quarter, the company's CEO said on Monday.

The chips, code-named Llano, are targeted at mainstream laptops and desktops, which will be priced starting at US$499. AMD's last chip refresh was in May last year, when the company launched new dual-, triple- and quad-core processors.

"Customers are very excited about Llano coming to market," said Thomas Seifert, interim CEO of AMD, during a conference call on Monday morning.

The A-series chips belong to AMD's new family of integrated chips called Fusion. Llano integrates the CPU and graphics processor on one chip, which helps laptops deliver faster application and graphics performance while consuming less power.

The Llano chips will be the first from AMD made using the 32-nanometer manufacturing process. The improved process will help reduce leakage to make chips more power-efficient.

Fusion chips have been well-received by PC makers, and Llano chips could do well with their price and performance levels, said Dean McCarron, principal analyst at Mercury Research.

AMD in January introduced the first E-series and C-series Fusion chips for netbooks and low-cost laptops, which are now selling well, McCarron said.

Llano chips will compete against Intel's Sandy Bridge microprocessors, which also combine a CPU and GPU on a single chip. Consumer laptops with Sandy Bridge chips started shipping last month.

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