Advanced Micro Devices believes that its next-generation ultra low-power platform code-named Brazos will not only power netbooks and similar types of devices, but will also address new form-factors.
AMD’s Brazos platform is based on the code-named Ontario accelerated processing unit (APU) that features dual-core x86 microprocessor powered by the code-named Bobcat micro-architecture as well as DirectX 11-class graphics chip. The platform is due sometime in 2011 and is likely to be more power efficient than AMD’s current offerings for netbooks, which is exactly why AMD makes claims about “new form-factors”. Earlier AMD revealed that the actual Ontario APU will be able to offer 90% of today’s “mainstream performance” in less than half of die area.
Unfortunately, at this point AMD does not seem to have much to say about Brazos besides the already known information.
“AMD is currently not painting a strategy around tablets and slates, Brazos would be suited for [new] form-factors such as these,” said Tan See Ghee, marketing director for South Asia at AMD, reports ZDNet Asia web-site.
It is a positive news that AMD admits necessity to address various new types of mobile devices that are set to emerge in 2010 – 2011 timeframe, however, without actual plans the company may find it rather hard to address actual products. The design cycle for ultra-portable or ultra-mobile applications is much longer than that of personal computers and without concrete plans, products and roadmaps it is extremely hard to compete for such devices. Up to this point AMD still has not revealed process technology that is to be used to make Ontario processors: everything that AMD says now is that all of its APUs will be made “under 32nm” process technology, but does not reveal whether it is bulk, SOI, TSMC's or Globalfoundries' fabrication process.
A little bit more known about processors powered by the Bobcat micro-architecture in general. According to AMD, Bobcat chips will feature x86-64, virtualization, SSE, SSE2, SSE3 technologies and will be single-threaded with out-of-order execution.