After years of pretty much sitting on the sidelines, AMD is starting to play in the netbook and low cost portable laptop space. We’re already seeing a handful of machines with AMD Nile chips, such as the Acer Aspire One 521 and Acer Aspire 1551. But AMD has another chip design in the works that’s aimed specifically at the sort of netbooks that currently ship with Intel Atom chips.
In a recent earnings call, AMD officials outlines some of the company’s plans for the new Ontario chips. Ontario is a low power chip built with a 40nm processor. It will be targeted at netbooks, and is on track to launch ahead of schedule in the fourth quarter of 2010. That means AMD’s partners will get it before the end of the year. We should see actual computers based around the new chipset in early 2011.
Without getting into specifics, AMD CEO Dirk Meyer said that Ontario chips would basically offer the same kind of performance we can expect from low end notebook chips today, such as an Athlon II dual core mobile processor. It will also include significantly higher performance graphics than Intel’s Atom chipset.