AMD updates notebook roadmap

Only real men have fabs

Via Technology Forum Chip firm AMD has updated its mobile roadmap for the 800 delegates attending the Via Technology Forum in Taipei.

A presentation started by showing its wins using the K6 notebook chip, with NEC, Compaq, Sony, Fujitsu, Toshiba and E Machines.

But AMD thinks that "significant" notebook market share growth is continuing in the less than $2,000 market, with thermal design the key differentiator in the marketplace.

Fab 30 and Fab 25 in Austin will reach a capacity of 11,000 eight inch wafers a week, AMD said, with the ability to support a number of generations of process technology.

The target markets for AMD notebook chips include the high performance commercial market, the performance 'thin and light' market, the value market, and the mini notebook sector.

The first two of these sectors will be occupied by mobile Athlon chips, while the K6 and the Duron will hog the value end of the market. But there is no chip assigned to the ultrathin sector in the slide presentation, which is somewhat intriguing.

Samples of the Duron mobile chips are now available, AMD said, and as we revealed earlier this year, the mobile Athlon will include high performance on die cache, a 200MHz S2K bus interface, superscalar floating point and an enhanced version of AMD's 3Dnow technology.

Comparing the Athlon mobile to the Pentium III mobile, AMD claims several ticks over Intel including superscalar FP, and a 128K level one cache, compared to 32K level one for Chipzilla.

AMD now has third party chipset support from Via for the mobile Athlons and Durons, and this chipset can use existing mobile southbridges or newer versions.

BIOS support for the mobiles include Insyde Software and Phoenix. A BIOS developer guide is available under non disclosure agreement (what that?), and AMD will provide drivers for Win98, Win ME, and W2k, with multiple language support available.

AMD has now released its reference platform for the Duron and Athlon mobile processors. ®

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