AMD Eyes Ultra Small Notebook Market with “Bobcat”

AMD Readies “Bobcat” Processors for Ultra Mobile Personal Computers

by Anton Shilov
06/08/2007 | 10:52 PM

Advanced Micro Devices, the world’s second largest supplier of x86 microprocessors, said during a press conference at Computex Taipei 2007 trade show that in 2008 the company would release a microprocessor specifically designed for ultra-mobile personal computers (UMPCs).

 

After Transmeta Corp. decided to cease marketing of its low-power Crusoe and Efficeon processors, only Intel Corp. and Via Technologies offer x86 processors with ultra low power consumption, for personal computers that can be so small that they fit at the palm of a hand. But given that Via’s C3 microprocessors cannot offer decent performance in a lot of cases, Intel is the only producer of dual-core and single-core processors with 9W/15W and 5.5W thermal design power, respectively.

Henri Richard, AMD’s executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer, said during his keynote at Computex that the Sunnyvale, California-based chipmaker understood the importance of the so-called ultra-mobile personal computers and that in 2008 it would release a processor code-named Bobcat that is designed specifically for such machines.

Currently single-core AMD Turion 64 processors have 24W thermal design power, whereas dual-core AMD Turion 64 X2 chips consume 31W or even higher. However, AMD’s mobile processors based on the company’s new micro-architecture will have more thermal envelopes, which will allow AMD to target more market segments than now.

Mr. Richard did not unveil many details about the new Bobcat processors, reports PC Watch web-site. It is currently unclear whether the chip will have one or two processing engines and whether Bobcat may end up being a system-on-chip (SoC). SoC form would probably include graphics processor as well, which means that Bobcat may actually be one of the first implementations of AMD’s widely-advertised Fusion project. The latter, however, is planned to be available in 2009 only.