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AMD Portables Hardware

New AMD Processors Aiming Between Laptops and Netbooks 77

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-too-big-not-too-small dept.
An anonymous reader writes with an article about AMD's Conesus chip, suggesting that it is intended to compete with Intel's Atom for the netbook market. However, CNet reports that AMD is eschewing that form factor in favor of something larger, yet still more portable than a traditional laptop. Quoting: "AMD's strategy seems solid, in my opinion. Go for a segment that is bigger and better than Netbooks. The ultraportable category (the MacBook Air being the best example) is full of attractive but expensive designs. Why not work with PC makers to offer an ultrathin, ultralight, full-featured 13-inch notebook that is priced a lot less than $1,800? Why not $600 or $700? In addition to the conventional criticism of Netbooks (small screens, tiny keyboards), an underrated fact is that many users eventually get the feeling that they're stuck with an underpowered laptop."
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New AMD Processors Aiming Between Laptops and Netbooks

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  • Intel Nano? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 15, 2008 @03:25AM (#25769117)

    Don't you mean Via Nano?

  • Well... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 15, 2008 @03:30AM (#25769129)
  • Re:Intel's Nano? (Score:3, Informative)

    by LaskoVortex (1153471) on Saturday November 15, 2008 @03:48AM (#25769185)
    I suspect they meant Intel Atom rather than Via Nano.
  • Re:obvious solution (Score:3, Informative)

    by argiedot (1035754) on Saturday November 15, 2008 @04:32AM (#25769325) Homepage
    Dude, it's not a cellphone. To quote from a comment I made elsewhere:

    Dude, HP's Mininote 2133 is over a kilogram in weight. An average phone is around 100gm (the Nokia E71 is a tenth the weight of the Mininote 2133) The Mininote is 1136.025 cc, the E71 is 65cc.

    Anyway, can't you just Skype over a 3G chip if it's that important to you?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 15, 2008 @04:39AM (#25769339)

    There is already a player in the ultraportable market: Intel Ultra Low Voltage (ULV), which currently powers all the sleek models from Apple, Toshiba, Sony, Thinkpad, etc.

    Article says, "Delivering a more powerful dual-core processor (such as AMD's Conesus) for this segment would also turn some heads".

    Sorry, if you deliver a more powerful processor at a higher TDP, you are no longer in the ultraportable segment, per se. The AMD Conesus will not fit into Macbook Air or its competitors. Instead, it will go for the slightly larger but still small laptops, where Intel is again already the dominant player with its LV (Low Voltage) CPU.

    Note, Intel with its superior process technology and power management tends to be more competitive in both segments than it is in the standard desktop/notebook space.

  • by lysergic.acid (845423) on Saturday November 15, 2008 @06:03AM (#25769577) Homepage

    well, hopefully as low-power netbooks catch on we'll start seeing more purpose-based rather than marketing-based designs in both netbooks as well as traditional laptop/desktop systems. and it's good that Intel and other chip makers are starting to focus on more efficient processors rather than just adding cores and increasing clock speeds.

    if consumers start seeing that they can get better results with cheaper, more modestly powered systems, maybe the general public will start to question why they have to keep upgrading their computers every year just so that the applications that they use on daily basis (word processing, spreadsheets, e-mail, web browsing, etc.) run just as slowly as before.

    there's nothing wrong with spending money on a good system, but you have to spend that money in the right places. like you said, a good screen resolution, decent peripherals support, etc. will improve the overall computing experience of most casual users much more than a power-sucking quad core CPU. additionally, using low-power processors also extends battery life, which adds a lot more value for the average user than excessive processing power.

    the difference between netbooks and conventional desktops/laptops is analogous to the difference between the Lotus design philosophy and Ford & GM's. whereas conventional automakers focus singularly on increasing horsepower and building bigger & heavier engines powering bigger & heavier cars, Lotus understands that by stripping out unnecessary glut & excess, you can produce a leaner more agile vehicle using minimal power from a very modest-sized engine. and by trying to decrease the curb weight of a vehicle rather than mindlessly stacking on more horse power, you increase the speed & acceleration of the car without compromising its handling characteristics, resulting in superior overall performance. likewise, even though netbooks use more modest processors they're still more responsive than conventional systems because they're optimized in the right places.

  • by Kjella (173770) on Saturday November 15, 2008 @09:03AM (#25770099) Homepage

    High-powered, high-priced ultra mobiles have always been there - I bought a very expensive Toshiba back in 2002 which is pretty near as small and light as you can get given the screen and keyboard. Atom opened up a whole new market exactly because these ultra-mobiles are cheap enough to buy as alternatives, not replacements or to completely new markets which probably explains the higher returns. A lot of the statements in the article is plain old bullshit, like the "failure of the principle". It's like saying compact cars are a failure because people also want semi-compacts instead of full-sized cars. The laptop producers have been fighting heavily for margins but Intel has huge margins on the Atom, do a little die size math and you'll see that they sell for far more than Core 2 Duos/Quads in terms of $/mm^2. And the sales are so far beyond expectations that Intel, you know that semiprocessor production giant, had trouble delivering.

    The alledged market AMD is claiming is there can be snuffed out by Intel at any time, they have the chips to do it but are keeping the prices on the high-powered ultra-mobile chips very high. The Core 2 Duo T-series will easily cost you 3x as much as desktop chips for clockspeed parity, for example at 2.5GHz you can get a 170$ E7200 or a 510$ T9300. Sure it would be very nice of AMD to come in and help push prices down, but Intel could slash the T9300 to 2-300$ in a heartbeat and essentially close any gap that might have been between netbooks and laptops.

    Yes, for a certain range AMD still has good value products as that's where they have to be as challengers, but don't confuse market realities with how they're doing financially or technologically. However that range has been growing slim, with better chipsets to match the Atom they're fighting a losing battle on the lowest end, they have lost the high-end desktop and laptop market long ago and nehalem has a heavy dose of server-oriented improvements. Intel's been hitting all their high-margin strongholds and just delivering "value" desktop/laptop processors has very poor margins. Intel can keep up their tight tick-tocks and weather this recession, I'm not sure AMD can even with this restructuring.

Thufir's a Harkonnen now.

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