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Advanced Micro Devices does not consider Intel Corp.'s ultrabook initiative as an imminent success. The chip designer claims that the market of expensive laptops is dominated by Apple with its MacBook series and ultrabooks will have hard times competing against them. AMD believes that its own approach to offer different chips for inexpensive ultra-slim and multimedia-rich mainstream mobile computers is a very balanced one.

Traditionally ultra low-voltage ultra-portable notebooks were aimed at business users who need long battery life amid sufficient performance and functionality. Many of such ultra-portable computers are state-of-the-art pieces of engineering and employ the latest technologies to provide excellent reliability, stability, battery life, security and other qualities that have tremendous value for those on the road. Ultrabooks should essentially pack the same amount of features, be very responsive, stylish and cost less than $1000, according to Intel’s intentions.

Intel wants ultrabooks to employ its latest-generation microprocessors, use latest technologies available from other developers and still maintain relatively low costs. But AMD believes that there are many ways to address the market of ultra-portable mobile PCs: some may want extremely cheap netbooks with extended battery life and other may want to have powerful multimedia capabilities.

“We have been on the market with our ultra-thin strategy for some time. We have always believed there was a sweet spot in the market: the extreme sort of portability with beautiful aesthetic and very thin designs. […] We have Llano silicon solution today that delivers as good or better battery life than Intel and better all around visual experience. […] The Brazos platform [for low-cost systems] has been a runaway success for AMD,” said John Taylor, the director of client product marketing and software at AMD, in a brief interview with X-bit labs.

Ultra-thin notebook aimed at consumers is not a completely new trend. Back in 2009 Intel already proposed so-called consumer ultra low-voltage (CULV) platform that was supposed to bring ultra-thin notebooks to the masses without using the latest manufacturing technologies and expensive materials. CULV has failed on the market. Ultrabook approach includes high-end materials and precise technology processes, so it is very different.

AMD does not believe in imminent success of ultrabooks and thinks that the new PCs will end up competing against already successful products like Apple MacBook Air, which are powered by the very same Intel Core i-series “Sandy Bridge” microprocessors. Meanwhile, Apple has been dominating the market of expensive consumer PCs for some time now.

"We have to wait and see when the actual thing comes to market and when Windows 8 comes to market and how does the final product [ultrabook hardware and Windows 8 software] look like as a $1000/€1000 type device. And how will it compete against already successful Apple MacBook Air. [...] The $1000+/€1000+ PC market is completely dominated by Apple,” said Mr. Taylor.

AMD asserts that many of the features of so-called ultrabooks are to be based on Windows 8 software and will eventually migrate to mainstream systems.

“Windows 8 brings a number of capabilities that Intel would seem to be collecting under the banner of ultrabook. As well, there are a few things that they are doing with higher-end components that they are looking at that enable faster wake and sleep and this type of capabilities [in Windows 8],” claimed Mr. Taylor.

But while the ultrabook initiative may not be an imminent success, AMD may well have silicon offerings – including, but not limited to the much hyped and not-yet-available code-named Trinity accelerated processing unit – to address the market of highly-responsive and highly-portable laptops that cost less than a $1000.

"I don't want go into specifics around what we can do with Trinity silicon. But Trinity represents a step-up in x86 performance, a step up in graphics performance and a step up in some areas around video, where we are already leaders. I don't want to get too specific about our 2012 roadmaps, but we have two different types of APUs that we can bring to that ultra-thin market as we move forward to their introduction next year," concluded Mr. Taylor.

Tags: AMD, Trinity, Llano, Brazos, Ontario, zacate, 32nm, 40nm, Fusion, ATI, Intel, Ultrabook


Comments currently: 15
Discussion started: 09/30/11 04:06:21 PM
Latest comment: 10/12/11 08:26:57 AM
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1 5 [Posted by: Green lantern  | Date: 09/30/11 04:06:21 PM]

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5 13 [Posted by: dac7nco  | Date: 09/30/11 07:29:24 PM]
- collapse thread

I would so shut the hell up it get the job done
7 3 [Posted by: blazzin  | Date: 09/30/11 07:41:41 PM]
I want it ... & I have some
8 2 [Posted by: Pouria  | Date: 10/01/11 03:08:36 AM]
I've been using computers since 1979 and building my own PCs since 1992, and since 1999 and the AMD Athlon, I've only been using AMD in my computers.

I'm not going to give money to a criminally-minded CPU manufacturer any more than I'd give money to a criminally-run grocery store or any other business. If Intel thinks they're going to get away with using mafia-style, 'protection money' type tactics to keep AMD out of computers, they've got another thing coming to them.

Until the day AMD shuts its doors and goes out of business (may that day never come), I'll never put an Intel-powered computer in my PCs again.
1 3 [Posted by: anubis44  | Date: 10/03/11 08:43:50 AM]
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1 4 [Posted by: veli05  | Date: 10/03/11 02:11:40 PM]
spoken like a true fanboy!

AMD just released the BD! They priced it higher than Intel's 2500K and BD even manages to get beaten by an aging Phenom II! Now that is clearly criminal!

0 2 [Posted by: dudde  | Date: 10/12/11 08:26:57 AM]

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0 10 [Posted by: TeemuMilto  | Date: 09/30/11 11:52:22 PM]

CULV failed because of high price CPUs and limited chipsets. If Intel had offered CULV in Atom giving decent performance to netbooks it would have been a different story today. But Intel pedalling all the crippled Atoms and celerons instead of culv at decent price took all the wind out of culv. ultrabooks will fail again for the same reason. Windows needs a decent cpu to run not celeron or atom. if intel is only going to provide high tdp cpus with good performance than ARM/AMD will win. APPLE is out of league as some of its customers have money no object to buy apple products. Most people love the form factor/cost of netbooks but hate there performance. Ultrabooks will fail as well like netbooks unless intel decreases the price of its low power high performance cpus.
3 0 [Posted by: sam_of_london  | Date: 10/01/11 09:05:18 AM]
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Intel wants money, as always. And this ultrabook story is even more unabashed than the CULV. Intel tries to force manufacturers to sell ultrabooks with an extremely low margin while they realize extraprofit on the CPUs without taking any risks. It's a wonder nobody slaps them in the face publicly.
3 0 [Posted by: Martian  | Date: 10/01/11 01:58:57 PM]

Because AMD cannot even release BD on time... and they don't have a product for this specific market!
3 3 [Posted by: dudde  | Date: 10/01/11 08:37:57 PM]
- collapse thread

as much as i don't like it i have to agree with you, sad...
2 1 [Posted by: 63jax  | Date: 10/01/11 11:39:27 PM]
AMDs current fusion processors are all ideal solutions for this market. The crappy graphics on the Sandy Bridge chips being lapped up by ignorant Mac users for $1300+ computers makes my sides split: you can get more overall power in Llano APU-based laptop for half the price.
4 0 [Posted by: anubis44  | Date: 10/03/11 08:45:56 AM]
really?!? so where are those ultrabooks with fusion chips? These fusion chips are too big, consumes too much to be packed inside an ultrabook!
0 2 [Posted by: dudde  | Date: 10/12/11 08:24:18 AM]


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