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AMD Shows ‘Llano’ Chip to Ease Concerns Over Delays

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. showed customers a working version of its new Llano chip in an effort to show it’s not falling behind in production of processors that come with graphics capabilities built in.

Executives of AMD, the second-largest maker of processors for personal computers, demonstrated the chip at a presentation for Taiwanese customers in Taipei today. Llano is designed for high-end laptops and desktop computers.

“We’ve made a lot of progress since this summer,” said Leslie Sobon, AMD’s vice president of marketing, in a telephone interview.

The company’s executives aim to allay concerns raised in July, when AMD said delays in a new production technique would push back the introduction of the new chip. Llano is part of a push to integrate advanced graphics into processors, creating products that larger rival Intel Corp. can’t quickly match.

AMD is still on schedule to deliver chips to PC-maker customers in the first half of 2011, Sobon said. Unlike Intel, AMD has the ability to make powerful graphics processors, something computer users are demanding, said Sobon.

Sunnyvale, California-based AMD purchased ATI Technologies Inc. in 2006 to gain access to a graphics maker.

Chips for Gamers

Intel is the largest maker of graphics chips, which it includes in products called chipsets. Like AMD, it’s planning to introduce chips that have graphics combined with the processor. Still, it hasn’t yet been able to make a graphics processor that can compete with chips from AMD and Nvidia Corp. Those are used in machines popular among computer gamers.

Putting graphics on the same piece of silicon as the main processor cuts production costs and means the product will consume less power. It also can improve performance, AMD says.

Like Intel, AMD lets engineers name chip designs. Llano, the Spanish word for an open, grassy plain, is the name of a town northwest of Austin, Texas, where AMD does most of its design work.

AMD fell 1 cent to $6.95 at 4 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have dropped 28 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ian King in San Francisco at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at

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