Advanced Micro Devices Ignores Netbooks, Targets “Ultra-Portable” Notebooks

AMD Says “No” to Netbooks, Praises “Ultra-Portables”

by Anton Shilov
11/14/2008 | 10:47 PM

Advanced Micro Devices said at a meeting with financial analysts that it would not develop specific processors for low-cost low-power netbook computers. The move is generally understandable since AMD has limited resources and it may not make a lot of sense for the company to spend them on ultra low-cost personal computers (ULCPCs). Still, the company said that it would target market segment of ultra-portable systems.


“We are ignoring the Netbook phenomenon – just thinking about PC form-factors above that form-factor,” said Dirk Meyer, chief executive officer of Advanced Micro Devices.

Instead of developing a microprocessor that would compete head-to-head with Intel Corp.’s very successful Atom chip, AMD will unveil code-named Consensus, Geneva and Ontario central processing units in 2009, 2010 and 2011, respectively. The new chips will target ultra-portable notebooks, such as Lenovo ThinkPad X-series, which are sold at much higher price-points compared to netbooks, such as Asustek Computer’s Eee PCs.

Both Consensus and Geneva processors are dual-core chips that are to be produced using 65nm and 45nm process technologies, respectively. Consensus features 1MB of cache and DDR2 memory controller, whereas Geneva sports 2MB of cache and DDR3 memory controller.

The code-named Ontario chip is among AMD’s first so-called accelerated processing units, which features two x86 CPU cores, 1MB of cache a graphics processing core and DDR3 memory controller. It will be produced using 32nm process technology.

Even though nowadays netbooks are gaining massive popularity on the market, AMD does not believe that they will grow into a huge market since netbooks usually feature small screens and cannot offer really high performance. As a result, believes AMD, it hardly makes sense to develop special processors for such systems; at the end, system builders may still create a netbook based on one of AMD’s chips for ultra-portable laptops.