Board partners get ready for AMD's Llano launch

AMD's first desktop-oriented Fusion 'accelerated processing unit', Llano, is nearly ready for launch - and the company's motherboard partners are making sure they're ready, populating their stands here in Tapei with multiple motherboards supporting the new chip.

The Llano range, which AMD is to launch as the AMD Vision A-series, adds integrated Radeon graphics to the company's general purpose CPU cores to create what it claims is a game-changing, ultra-powerful class of processor - but it's going to require a new motherboard for those upgrading their systems.

AMD's APU range uses a socket known as FM1, which is not backwards compatible with the company's current socket types. Although not yet officially announced by AMD, boards from a variety of vendors are on display here at this year's Computex show.

Boards from companies including Gigabyte, Asus, and Jetway are all on public display in the halls, and include the Asus Vision branding. Each is based on AMD's A75 chipset, and includes full support for all FM1-socket chips - which is to say the upcoming Llano parts.

A look at the IO ports on the boards indicates AMD's focus on the Llano's integrated graphics technology: boards include multiple DVI, VGA, HDMI, and even DisplayPort outputs as standard, while many include PCI Express slots to allow a dedicated graphics card to be added.

For those choosing this route, they'll get to enjoy something AMD has been working hard on: a technology which allows the APU's integrated graphics to supplement the power of the dedicated graphics card, giving a small but significant performance boost when compared to a standard integrated graphics system with external graphics card.

As for AMD itself, it's still remaining cagey on when the A-series will launch - despite running a live demo of gaming during its press event - but all signs point to 'soon,' with a full launch before the end of the month a possibility.

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