AMD Has No Replacement for Geode LX Processors

AMD Has No Plans to Replace Geode Chip with New Micro-Architecture

by Anton Shilov
01/26/2009 | 11:49 PM

Advanced Micro Devices is not developing any new Geode processors for embedded applications and has no replacement for them in sight, the company said on Monday. It is no secret that AMD officially stopped the development of Geode years ago, but it has been assumed by the market that the company’s code-named Bobcat chip will be able to address the market of ultra low-power embedded applications.


“There are no plans for a follow-on product to today's available AMD Geode LX products, but we expect to make this very successful processor available to customers as long as the market demands,” said Phil Hughes, an AMD spokesman, reports IDG News Service.

AMD has three different versions of the Geode products in the lineup: the Geode NX, which is based on the AMD Athlon (K7) micro-architecture and has power consumption in the range of 6W to 14W; as well as Geode LX with up to 3W power consumption and Geode GX with 1.1W power consumption and integrated display controller microprocessors based on the micro-architecture developed by National Semiconductor, from who AMD acquired the Geode information appliance business unit back in 2003.

Back in 2006 AMD told its 150 employees in Longmont, Colorado design center for Geode that it would relocate 75 engineers to Fort Collins, Colorado development facility, while the remaining would leave the company by the end of the year. It became clear back then that AMD decided to cease the development of Geode. But already in 2007 the company came out with the plan to roll-out a very low-power micro-architecture code-named Bobcat and target ultra-mobile PC applications with it. Given that low-power chips can eventually be “shrunk” (made using thinner and more advanced process technology), derivatives from the Bobcat could easily replace Geode LX in certain applications. 

Considering the fact that Geode LX is a very old processor, there are hardly any chances that any new products will be developed on its base in the future and AMD’s announcement is just a remainder for existing customers that the active life of Geode LX is over.

Theoretically, AMD may introduce the AMD Athlon 64 (K8) into the AMD Geode NX range, even now the company has rather high-performance Athlon chips with 8W thermal design power or Athlon Neo with 15W thermal envelope, which performance is much higher compared to the Geode NX, which are powered by completely out-dated micro-architecture.

“We’ll continue to sell the Geode line of products, but as far as are we going to be bringing out a new core microarchitecture specifically targeted at that space – no, we won’t be doing that. It’s not a part of our future product road map. You are going to continue to see us offer lower-power processors just like the Neo being offered at 15 watts,” said Randy Allen, senior vice president of the computing solutions group at AMD, in an interview earlier this month.