AMD Predicts Death of Netbooks, Rise of Inexpensive Notebooks

AMD’s Chief Executive: Netbooks Will Be Forgotten in a Year

by Anton Shilov
02/26/2009 | 11:54 PM

Advanced Micro Devices is known for its negative attitude towards netbooks, ultra low-cost personal computers in sub-notebook form-factor with low-performance microprocessor. The company’s chief executive officer said in a recent interview that netbook category will be forgotten in a year from now.


“I hate to say netbooks because a year from now people won’t say ‘netbooks’. […] You will see our chips show up in devices down to the $399 price point,” said Dirk Meyer, chief executive officer and president of Advanced Micro Devices, in an interview with Cnet web-site.

The vast majority of netbooks is powered by Intel Atom processor, which is very small and is cheap to manufacture using 45nm process technology. AMD does not have a direct rival to Intel Atom, but the company hopes that its slightly more expensive platforms for mobile computers will enable cost-effective notebooks with higher performance and feature-set compared to netbooks.

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.

“So we’ve got a continuum of solutions going Yukon, Congo, Nile, Ontario, that will enable smaller, less expensive form factors,” Mr. Meyer said.