AMD has clearly articulated a software and hardware roadmap for unified CPU and GPU computing at their Fusion Developer’s Summit that has all the right pieces. Llano and Zacate are the first integration steps and focus on reducing overhead by sharing – rather than copying – data between the CPU and GPU.
Llano made a number of compromises in favor of time to market, such as using a very mediocre CPU core and relying on memory rather than on-die caches for CPU/GPU communication. However, it still packs the best performance integrated graphics period, and good media decoding. Overall, Llano is a serious improvement for AMD’s notebooks, mostly due to power management, which should be well received by consumers. The trick for AMD going forward is to execute on their vision and consistently deliver compelling improvements in a timely fashion.
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