AMD has begun shipping its quad-core Llano chips, marking another milestone in the company's intense chip war with Intel. Laptops powered by the A-Series chips should be available in the second quarter, according to an AMD blog post.
AMD's and Intel's next-generation chips combine a CPU and graphics processor for better performance, improved graphics handling and greater power efficiency than ever before. As original equipment manufacturers start incorporating the Llano chip into new PCs, AMD may be able to continue its success with Fusion and its recent gains against Intel.
AMD is showcasing the multitasking capabilities of Llano in a side-by-side video comparison with Intel's Sandy Bridge. The video demonstrates the two chips going head-to-head in graphics-intensive, high-performance tasks. (Llano obviously comes out on top in the video, though analysts say that both have unique strengths.)
As the chip battle heats up, we may also expect more competitive laptop pricing, although laptops with AMD's A-Series chips could be priced higher (above $499, according to an AMD spokeswoman) than other AMD Fusion chips now available in $200 laptops, the lower-end E-Series and C-Series.
The exact dates when Llano-based laptops will appear on the market can't be determined yet. AMD's chief financial officer and interim chief executive, Thomas Seifert, said in a webcast that "Customers are very excited about Llano coming to market and we will look forward to seeing our Llano-based systems in the market this quarter - the second quarter."