Advanced Micro Devices hopes to gain nettop market positions next year when its partners ship micro-ITX mainboards based on Zacate processors for low-power desktop personal computers. While it is clear that Zacate chips have a number of advantages over competing platforms, the question about success of Brazos platform will mostly depend on popularity of nettops themselves.
A source familiar with the matter told X-bit labs that at present about half a dozen of motherboard makers are working on micro-ITX mainboards featuring AMD’s code-named Zacate processors. Such motherboards will enable system makers to produce very small systems featuring dual-core microprocessors and DirectX 11 graphics core. Probably, such platforms can also enable all-in-one systems with advanced feature-set.
It is a rather alarming situation that AMD currently only has about half a dozen of mini-ITX designs several months before the actual product launch. It hardly makes a lot of sense to build low-end desktops in micro-ATX form-factors, as a result, it is crucially important for AMD to get as much different mini-ITX platforms as possible.
In addition to netbooks and low-end notebooks, AMD also hopes to position Brazos platform – which is based on the Zacate or Ontario processors – for nettops and all-in-one PCs. Dual-core Zacate E350 accelerated processing unit (APU)- and ATI Radeon HD 6310 discrete graphics-based desktops will be sold under AMD Vision label. Meanwhile, single-core Zacate E240 chips will power yet unknown platform currently known as “AMD HD Internet”.
AMD Brazos platform for desktops and mobile computers will consist of AMD Fusion accelerated processing unit (APU) code-named Ontario/Zacate as well as code-named Hudson D1 fusion controller hub, which will connect to processor using PCI Express 2.0 x4 bus and will support 4 PCIe x1 ports, PCI bus, 6 Serial ATA-300 ports, 14 USB 2.0 ports as well as integrated clock-generator. The part does not support RAID, Gigabit Ethernet and other capabilities, hence, Brazos platform will hardly be suitable for commercial desktops without additional chips.
AMD did not comment on the news-story.