AMD Demos Dual-Core Mobile Chip, Yamato Platform

AMD Shows Off New Mobile Platform

by Anton Shilov
12/15/2005 | 10:21 PM

Without much hype, Advanced Micro Devices has showcased its next-generation mobile processor with advanced memory controller and two processing engines at an even in   Japan. In conjunction with the processor, the world’s second largest maker of x86 chips has told about its Yamato project that is aimed at system developers and which is expected to ease development and manufacturing of AMD-based notebooks.

The goals of Yamato project is to enable notebooks running low-power AMD Turion 64 processors to work more than 5 hours using the battery power as well as to introduce validate platforms, which is expected to improve time-to-market for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The Yamato reference platform has been developed jointly by AMD, IBM Japan as well as NVIDIA Corp. Nevertheless, AMD will maintain its approach to allow any third-party chipset designers to offer core-logic sets for the new mobile technology by the company.

Availability of validated platforms and reference design should improve positions of AMD on the market of mobile PCs. One of the strong points Intel Centrino can offer is guaranteed compatibility between the components in the package along with appropriate design methodologies that improve time-to-market and lower production costs for manufacturers.

AMD plans to share all design materials with manufacturing partners, illustrate recommended design practices and insist on usage of commercially available components. In order to accomplish this goal, AMD needs to develop reference designs along with chipset developers. So far only NVIDIA Corp., whose chipsets are not used in notebooks, presented its reference mainboard. ATI Technologies, who supplies chipsets to the majority of mobile computers running AMD’s chips, is also expected to propose its reference design.

The platform that was demonstrated at the event on Japan, according to PC Watch web-site, is built around NVIDIA nForce chipset, NVIDIA GeForce MXM graphics module, a hard disk and an optical drives and so on. AMD dual-core mobile processor for Socket S1 infrastructure featured dual-channel memory controller and operated at unknown clock-speed. The platform was not a laptop, but a set of components in a special case that is used for designing and testing mobile computers. 

According to the publication, the demonstrated Yamato platform could decode H.264 video with 1920x816 resolutions along with WMV9 (1280x720) and the MPEG-2 (720x480) simultaneously without problems, which should be no surprise as the processor has two cores and the GeForce graphics chip can also decode both WMV9 and MPEG-2. The CPU usage, according to Windows Task manager, was about 50%.

AMD mobile processors with two cores and dual-channel memory controller should emerge in the Q2 2006. It is unclear when notebook makers plan to adopt the new platforms designed by AMD and partners.