Up to now, AMD has spent more time bashing netbooks’ limitations as low power computing devices instead of pushing technology that can make them more powerful. But it looks like that could soon change.
AMD is expected to announce a new chip this week aimed at low cost portable computers like netbooks and MIDs (Mobile Internet Devices). According to APC Magazine, the new chip will focus on two areas
- Extending battery life
- Boosting video performance
It’s likely that the new chip will be smaller and more energy efficient than current AMD processors. And AMD, which acquired graphics card maker ATI not too long ago, will likely use ATI’s expertise to produce a chipset with integrated graphics capabilities that will allow for decent high def video playback without burning down your battery in a matter of seconds.
In the past, AMD’s comments about netbooks have left me wondering whether the company truly understands what makes these tiny notebooks tick. We won’t know for sure until AMD unveils more details about the new processor, but I’m still a bit dubious. Focusing on battery life is a good start. But I’m not convinced that graphics should be a high priority. Sure, it’s nice to be able to watch some web video or a ripped DVD on the go. But I’ve never had a problem doing that with an Intel Atom, or even Celeron CPU. If AMD can offer performance as good or better without taking a toll on battery life, that’s fine. But I’d rather see a focus on multi-tasking. A dual core, low power chip would be a nice.