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amd-logo-2AMD has pretty much stayed out of the netbook game. While Intel, VIA, ARM, and a handful of other chip-makers are duking it out for dominance (with Intel currently holding the lead by a wide margin), AMD has hung out in the margins waiting for consumers to get tired of thin, light, and not-too-powerful machines. The closet AMD has come to releasing a netbook processor so far is the AMD Neo, which powers the 12 inch HP Pavilion dv2 notebook, which has a starting price of $749.

Now it looks like AMD is preparing to take on Intel’s Atom processor with a smaller, cheaper, and lower powered chip of its own. AMD expects to deliver samples to partners in 2010, which means we could see computers using the new chips in late 2010 or early 2011, which sounds a bit late to start cashing in on the netbook revolution.
But here’s the catch. AMD CEO Dirk Meyer says these processors aren’t for netbooks. They’re for notebooks. By the time these low power chips are out, he says the lines between netbooks and notebooks will have pretty much disappeared.

What do you think? Will the word “netbook” disappear within 2 years, allowing us just to think of these little guys as 10 inch laptops? Or will the word simply take on new meaning by then?

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11 replies on “AMD working on a low power chip to rival Intel Atom”

  1. AMD’s attitude towards netbooks has always been asinine, and their remarks are a lot of BS and spin because they can’t deliver. Oh you don’t want any of our money, AMD? Ok, I guess Intel can have it. Goodbye.

  2. sounds like Fusion to me.

    dual-core bulldozer with GPU on package, all manufactured on 32nm.

    total TDP for CPU/GPU and soutbridge would probably be less than 20W, which is enough for a 10″ chassis.

  3. I see the netbook category still around in 2 yrs but much smaller -niche wise not size wise- than today.

    Between ION, dual core atoms, and more the current NETbook goes from handling 90% of the typical consumer load to 99% and thus becomes a not-over-priced-ultra-portable or notebook.

    However the net only (ok mostly) concept is sound especially with more and more cloud type services coming online (could resist). With the first ION net-er-notebooks about to launch at $500 it’s safe to say they could run $300 in 2 yrs. Which shows that price differentiation is going to be less important in the future – at some point you hit the bottom (keyboards, trackpads and such all cost SOMEthing to make). Which leaves weight and battery life. So the netbooks of the future will be $200ish, weigh less than two pounds, have a real world battery life of 12 hours (claimed 15-18), and have just enough power to play hulu (which by then will be accelerated). OK maybe that’s 3 years out 😉

  4. 1) they are too late to the party.
    2) unless they come up with something new/different they will only have price to compete with Intel, a war they cannot win in the long run.
    3) They are wrong about netbooks/notebooks merging. If anything there will be MORE categories, not less. Including MIDs, ARM tablets, x86 tablets, small netbooks, large netbooks small laptops, convertables (either tablet or laptop), etc.

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