AMD powers up A-Series chips with improved performance and graphics

AMD Trinty
AMD's Trinity APU has been announced today

AMD has formally announced its second-generation A-Series mobile processor, which you'll see in notebooks branded as AMD Vision A4, A6, A8 and A10.

As well as traditional notebooks, AMD is also targeting 'ultrathin' notebooks with this release – going after Intel's relatively new Ultrabook target market. AMD was first to announce AMD-powered ultraportables last week, with what it called Sleekbooks.

AMD says that Trinity represents an inflection point in computing, and while that's little more than PR bluster, there's no doubt that AMD is a serious option for those who want both performance and DirectX 11 graphics in their mobile devices. However, whether AMD can start to seriously impact on Intel's dominance is quite another matter.

Trinity follows on from last year's Llano APU, the first mainstream chip to combine DirectX 11 graphics and processing on a single die. The new 32nm chips deliver double the performance-per-watt of their predecessors.

The all new architecture features dual or quad new Piledriver x86 cores – an evolution of the Bulldozer architecture. AMD claims up to a 29 per cent improvement in productivity performance over the Husky32 cores found in Llano.

Battery life is the battleground

The GPU are HD 7000 Series cores, based on AMD's Northern Islands architecture – the high-end A10 chip we've been testing features integrated AMD Radeon 7600 graphics - AMD is calling the integrated 3D core the Radeon HD 7660G.

Battery life is a big focus of the new chips – AMD claims 11 hours of resting battery life and five hours of video playback. Clever technology (called AMD Turbo Core 3.0) enables automatic bi-directional power management between the x86 and Radeon graphics cores to deliver power and performance where it is needed.

Mobile versions of the APUs are being made available first, with desktop chips at a later, currently unknown, date. The mobile chops will be available in a number of configurations rated at 17W, 25W and 35W thermal design power (TDP).

The memory controller on the 2012 AMD A-Series platform supports up to DDR3-1600 and adds support for low power 1.25V DIMMs. There's also support for DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort 1.2 for up to four displays.


Dan (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Former Deputy Editor and is now in charge at our sister site Covering all things computing, internet and mobile he's a seasoned regular at major tech shows such as CES, IFA and Mobile World Congress. Dan has also been a tech expert for many outlets including BBC Radio 4, 5Live and the World Service, The Sun and ITV News.