AMD's "Fusion Accelerated Processing Units" (APUs) combine the CPU and discrete Radeon graphics on the same die. There's three tiers: C-Series (netbooks/tablets), E-Series (12.1- to 14-inchers), and the A-Series for bigger laptops and PCs. We've already seen AMD's C-50 and E-350 chips, and here come the big guns. The dual-core A4 and quad-core A6/A8 APUs roughly target Core i3, i5 and i7 laptops, respectively — so get ready for a Sandy Bridge stoush. In Australia: HP, Sony, Dell, Samsung, Acer, Toshiba and Asus have already signed on.
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Samsung's new 15.6-inch 305v will actually be its first AMD laptop in Australia.
The $599 base model has the 1.2GHz dual-core A4-3310MX chip (which includes Radeon HD6480G graphics), while the $1199 option packs the 1.8GHz quad-core A8-3510MX. This model features Radeon HD6640G2 dual graphics, taking advantage of the A-Series dual-graphics capability — stacking APU performance with a second dedicated Radeon chip.
As you can see in the table below, A-Series laptop APUs also have a "Turbo Core" feature, which works much like Turbo Boost on Intel's Sandy Bridge chips.
Looking it all over, A-Series chips seem to have the battery life and graphics potential to be AMD's best crack at Intel's laptop dominance for quite a while. But we'll have to wait a weeks for the new laptops to hit shops, and for benchmarking to take place. I'm looking forward to seeing how the numbers stack up.