AMD Unveils Platform for Cost-Effective Ultra-Thin Laptops

AMD Enters Inexpensive Sub-Notebook Market with “Yukon” Platform

by Anton Shilov
01/06/2009 | 08:51 AM

Advanced Micro Devices on Tuesday officially unveiled its code-named Yukon platform that is aimed at inexpensive thin-and-light mobile computers. AMD’s new platform based on Athlon Neo processor and AMD M690E core-logic with built-in graphics core will not compete against Intel Atom-based systems directly, but will enable very affordable ultra-thin notebooks.


“Before today, there was a compromise associated with selecting a highly portable notebook, forcing consumers to choose either the full PC experience of an ultra-portable at a high price or the limited PC experience of a mini-notebook at a low price. AMD enables balanced PC performance, including the option of advanced graphics and video for true HD entertainment, all in an affordable, ultra-thin notebook,” said Chris Cloran, corporate vice president of client division at AMD.

AMD’s Yukon platform consists of AMD Athlon Neo or AMD Sempron single-core central processing unit (CPU) with integrated single-channel DDR2 memory controller in ball-grid array (BGA) packaging, AMD M690E chipset with built-in DirectX 9-class ATI Radeon X1250 graphics core and AMD SB600 I/O controller. System designers may also install discrete DirectX 10-supporting ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3410 graphics processing unit to enable higher-performance and higher-quality graphics on inexpensive computers.

The first microprocessors to power cheap ultra-think notebooks from AMD are Athlon Neo MV-40 (1.60GHz, 512KB level-two cache) with 15W thermal design power (TDP), AMD Sempron 210U (1.50GHz, 256KB L2 cache) with 15W thermal envelope and AMD Sempron 200U (1.0GHz, 256KB L2 cache) with 8W TDP. All chips are made using 65nm process technology.

Considering the fact that AMD’s M690E + SB600 chipset consumes only up to 11W (8W + 2W~3W), the Yukon platform looks to be rather competitive with 19W – 26W thermal design power for all chips. Considering the fact that AMD Athlon Neo processor should offer higher-performance compared to Intel Atom chip, AMD-based ultra-thin laptops may steal some customers from Intel-based netbooks.

“We believe there is a significant market opportunity that lies between the less-capable mini-notebook and higher-priced ultra-portable notebook segments. Integrating the right kind of technologies will enable companies to pioneer a new category of ultra-thin notebook PCs, offering consumers the value they seek in a challenging global economy,” said Bob O’Donnell, program vice president of clients and displays at market research firm IDC.

The new AMD platform debuts within the HP Pavilion dv2 ultra-thin notebook, which measures less than one-inch thick and weighs less than four pounds. The HP Pavilion dv2 also comes equipped with a 12.1” diagonal LED BrightView display, nearly full-size keyboard, and optional external optical disc drive with Blu-ray capability.

“Together HP and AMD identified an opportunity and designed a platform to bring consumers an affordable notebook that is a perfect balance of performance and style,” said Kevin Frost, vice president or notebook global business unit of personal systems group at HP. “With an exceptional visual experience, rich features, and robust graphics and processing capabilities, consumers will be thrilled by the sleek design and reasonable price of the HP Pavilion dv2 Entertainment Notebook PC based upon the AMD ultrathin notebook platform.”