AMD Fusion

Ultrabooks are a new class of thin and light laptops which feature Intel processors, solid state disks, and other premium features including fast boot and resume-from-sleep speeds. If you’re wondering why they need Intel chips, it’s because Intel coined the word “ultrabook” and has trademarked the heck out of it.

But Intel doesn’t have a monopoly on ultraportable laptops, and rival AMD could roll out its answer to the ultrabook as early as January, 2012.

According to a report in The Australian, AMD is working with a number of laptop makers on new ultrathin notebooks using energy efficient AMD chips.

Like Intel, AMD has made a couple of major changes to its notebook chips over the past few years that make it possible to slot the processors into thin and light laptops without big, noisy fans. The latest processors use less energy and generate less heat than previous AMD chips.

AMD also now produces what it calls APUs, or accelerated processor units. These combine graphics and CPU functions onto a single chip to further reduce energy consumption.

Intel has made similar moves and has offered HD-capable integrated graphics for years, but AMD tends to hold the edge on graphics performance. The Radeon HD graphics available even on the company’s low-end C-series and E-series processors tends to pack enough punch for Blu-ray video decoding, 3D gaming, and other graphically-intense activities.

It’s likely that the new ultrathin laptops which could arrive at CES in January could have AMD Brazos 2.0 chips. If that’s the case, there’s a good chance that AMD-powered ultrathins could be significantly cheaper than Intel-powered ultrabooks which typically have starting prices of $900 or more.

via Ultrabook News

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2 replies on “AMD’s answer to Intel’s ultrabooks coming in early 2012?”

  1. It depends on what you’re looking at. If you need GPU performance, Intel will have to do something amazing to catch up with Ivy Bridge. As is, they’re good for CPU intensive applications, but that’s becoming less useful these days as even stuff like web browsing is now GPU accelerated.

  2. “It’s likely that the new ultrathin laptops which could arrive at CES in January could have AMD Brazos 2.0 chips”

    All the rumours point to the next-gen E-series chips in 28nm being cancelled, so all Brazos 2.0 will bring to the table is fractionally higher clocks than the E-450 on a chip still fabbed at 40nm.

    Brazos does not have the grunt to compete with ULV Core i5’s, and certainly not against Ivybridge.

    If AMD does have an ultrabook competitor in Q2 it will be an 18W Trinity chip using a single dual-core module, and 256 VLIW4 shaders instead of 512 for the quad-core versions.

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