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AMD Turion 64 processors are becoming popular among notebook makers, according to a claim made by AMD’s chief executive Hector Ruiz during the most recent conference call. The information should indicate the prosperity of the company’s processor business going forward, as mobile chip market has been something that AMD could not penetrate for years.

“In the thin and light segment we are seeing strong demand for our new AMD Turion 64 processor platform, which has captured more than sixty design wins since its launch,” said Hector Ruiz, AMD’s CEO.

Over 60 design wins for AMD Turion 64 is a significant number for AMD, it means that there are over 60 different notebooks based on the central processing units are available from different manufacturers. For instance, Intel Corp. said its latest flavour of its Intel Centrino mobile platform was planned to be adopted by 80 notebook makers at launch and more than 150 would ship products based on the Sonoma by the end of 2005, which probably results in hundreds of different models shipping in volume.

AMD Turion 64 targets the same space as Intel’s Centrino mobile platform – thin, light, but yet powerful notebooks. However, there is a significant difference between the Turion and the Centrino: the Turion 64 is a standalone processor, whereas the Centrino is a platform. AMD Turion 64 may be paired with any validated system logic from companies like ATI Technologies, NVIDIA Corp., Silicon Integrated Systems, ULi Electronics or VIA Technologies and any wired or wireless network adapters preferred by notebook makers. In case of Intel Centrino notebook manufacturers have to choose Intel Pentium M chip, Intel’s core-logic and Intel’s network controllers to be able to use the Centrino brand-name.

AMD Turion 64 mobile processor is designed to fit into 754-pin infrastructure with 800MHz HyperTransport bus speed, is equipped with either 1MB or 512KB of level-two cache and has built-in single-channel DDR memory controller supporting PC1600, PC2100, PC2700 or PC3200 DDR SDRAM. Additionally, the chip features PowerNow! energy saving technology with C3 Deeper Sleep state that reduces power consumption during idle moments as well as 3DNow!, SSE, SSE2 and SSE3 instructions. Like all AMD Athlon 64 processors, the Turion 64 supports 64-bit capability in addition to Enhanced Virus Protection technology.

AMD Turion 64 processors are available in two series: ML and MT. The former has 35W thermal design power, whereas the latter sports 25W thermal envelope.

Processors by Advanced Micro Devices have historically been not very popular in mobile computers due to high power consumption and heat dissipation amid Intel’s ability to offer high performance chips with relatively low consumption of power. But these days AMD seems to have more chances for success with its laptop chips, as they exclusively offer 64-bit capability with relatively low power consumption and desktop-class performance. Still, AMD needs a lot of work to do in order to further increase acceptance in the mobile segment.


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