Feature Articles

AMD - Loaded and Back in Action

AMD - Loaded and Back in Action


Charting the Mobile Market

AMD's Notebook Refresh Imminent

Let's start with some current stats on the notebook end. As John fed us some data to juggle with, we found that in recent times where AMD has won a notebook design based on an AMD CPU, the chipset more often than not is powered by NVIDIA (at least 5 out of 10 of these notebooks). As mentioned earlier, AMD was late to deliver a suitably updated notebook chipset as well as discrete mobile graphics and these stats perfectly make sense.

Come Computex next week, AMD will make a big bang by launching their next generation notebook platform, Puma. As usual, this will consist of three ingredients:- The new Griffen mobile processor, an AMD M780G (RS780M) mobile chipset and 802.11a/b/g/n compliant WiFi chip from third party vendors. For those unaware, the Griffen processor, which will officially be known as the AMD Turion X2 Ultra is none other than a dual-core variant of the Phenom architecture, complete with AMD CoolCore for fine and course power management on various part of the CPU, as well as a more power-optimized HyperTransport bus and dynamic power management. The M780G mobile chipset is essentially a more power-optimized AMD 780G chipset on the desktop, supports ATI PowerXpress Technology to cycle between IGP and discrete graphics engines dynamically (without rebooting) where applicable to save on battery performance, packs up to four times the 3D processing power of the previous mobile IGP (the RS690M), and lastly the new IGP core integrates the UVD feature of the latest Radeon HD 3000 series to support Avivo HD for great Blu-ray and HD DVD playback experience.

Since the Puma platform is not far from being launched, John let us in on some of the stats on the design wins where the new Turion X2 Ultra mobile CPU is used will more often than not be based on the AMD M780G chipset - which is about 9 out of 10 notebooks design wins, so that probably covers a majority of the OEM notebook vendors, considering that AMD has about 100 design wins for the Puma platform already. This is where things could probably go south for NVIDIA's share to budge into the notebook space. You would think NVIDIA might have better luck to continue their mobile graphics segment, but we've got news that the Mobility Radeon HD 3000 series have recently started to ship to notebook vendors. With the OEMs preferring AMD's complete platform solution, this could be the case even for adopting ATI's mobile graphics parts - more so when you consider the advantage of the PowerXpress. So unless AMD/ATI slip up somewhere, it looks like NVIDIA's going to have a tough time later this year in the mobile market space.