AMD has released its latest challenger to Intel with the Llano processor, which has begun shipping to OEMs. PCs equipped with the chips are expected to arrive within the quarter.
Based on the Fusion platform, Llano combines a traditional processor with the multi-threading power of a graphics chip, forming what the company calls an Accelerated Processor Unit.
Targeting the home and enterprise PC markets, the 32nm Llano is in competition with Intel's Sandy Bridge architecture , and analysts believe that AMD could have an advantage in certain areas.
Pund-IT principal analyst Charles King told V3.co.uk that, while Intel has enjoyed an advantage in CPU development, AMD's integration with ATI could give the company an advantage in terms of graphics hardware.
"AMD is leading with its strong point, it is trying to define the market in a way that best fits with its skill set," King explained. "Intel is leading in CPU development, but it lags in its home grown graphics technologies."
King said that, while Llano may not be a game-changer for AMD in its battle with Intel, the platform could step up competition between the two firms in the PC space.
Enderle Group principal analyst Rob Enderle likened the showdown to the first leg of a championship series. Like King, he sees each company bringing its own strengths to the table.
"Fusion, of which Llano is the first really big push, is AMD's biggest gamble. Its market performance will define AMD for the near term future, and it is the firm's most important release in years," Enderle told V3.co.uk.
"It should set up well against Intel's Sandy Bridge, arguably stronger in graphics if lighter on the CPU side and with a similar energy efficiency, but we won't know this for sure until we can actually benchmark the result."
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