First Look: AMD Trinity APU, Linux Already Runs Well
Another early Trinity APU is the AMD Eng Sample 2D332158A2350_36/33/16_9991_711, which is a dual-core APU at 3.3GHz. This is fairly interesting with AMD's dual-core A4-3400 being clocked at just 2.7GHz. This APU is for a desktop system with Trinity Scrapper graphics. It's evidently working fairly well with Ubuntu 11.10 on the Linux 3.0 kernel. It appears that AMD hasn't done anything crazy with their engineering boards for Trinity as the Hudson Azalia driver and other components are being detected fine already on Ubuntu.
There's also a 3.3GHz dual-core Trinity APU on the AMD Annapurna. Ubuntu 11.10 on the Linux 3.0 kernel isn't able to detect the graphics and its PCI ID is 0x9991. The open-source Mesa / Gallium3D and Radeon DRM support hopefully won't be too far behind once the Trinity APUs launch in 2012. At least the early binary driver support appears in place. Depending upon what the retail price ends up being on this 3.3GHz dual-core Trinity APU, it should be quite an interesting product as the few numbers I've seen on it were quite good in relation to other hardware on OpenBenchmarking.org.
Yet another Trinity configuration is with the AMD Eng Sample 2M252157C4450_32/25/16_9903_609, but it's graphics are slightly different. It's another quad-core part, but it's graphics (PCI ID: 0x9903) don't appear to be working yet with the proprietary Catalyst driver -- or the AMD partner doesn't know how to install the binary blob.
While Trinity may be a very nice step up from Llano and other current-generation hardware, for those wanting top-notch performance, the AMD Eng Sample 1S192145TGG44_3/19/2_2/16 is a beautiful Bulldozer server chip. AMD Eng Sample 1S192145TGG44_3/19/2_2/16 is a 16-core Bulldozer that doesn't appear to be yet on the market. Two of these beauties can be packed into one system and run well under Ubuntu 11.10.
Along with the results, some of the engineers even submitted the system logs including the /proc/cpuinfo, so the cache sizes, CPU support flags, etc are also known. However, to save these engineers on too much embarressement or trouble, I'll be holding off for now on publishing the actual numbers and more details. I've also expunged some of this data from OpenBenchmarking.org as I can only guess that these engineers had mistakenly submitted the data or were just being very careless (or maybe were experiencing their first Oktoberfest). But with some of the codenames and strings supplied in this article, you might have luck finding caches from Google or elsewhere.
To end for now, AMD Trinity should be very nice and I'm glad to see it already running on Linux -- it's a much better situation than when already released AMD hardware would fail with Linux. (When the first AMD Phenoms were released there would be kernel panics and other problems with the latest Linux code at the time.) Stay tuned for more. If anyone has any questions, feel free to contact me or find me on Twitter.
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