AMD aims high with mobile roadmap

Horsey Horsey

AMD may be late to the high-performance mobile processor table, but it's trying hard to make up for its tardiness in 2001.

In its most recent mobile processor roadmap, issued at CeBIT, the company says that notebook systems using mobile AMD Athlon processors, based on Palomino, are "planned" to be in the channel in Q2 this year. Of course, this will depend on the widespread availability of VIA or ALi chipsets, currently thought to be in short supply, for the Palomino mobile version.

The company says it will have a 1GHz mobile out this year (Intel announced its one gig last week)

AMD's mobile Athlon is built using 0.18 micron copper manufacturing technology and is housed in a 462-pin low profile flip-chjip PGA package. The chip incorporates AMD's PowerNow!, the company's well-regarded battery-saving technology and a 200MHz bus.

Next up on the high performance front is the Thoroughbred Mobile, which samples in Q4, 2001 and is due for production for Q1 2002. AMD will use a 0.13 micron die shrink in the manufacturing process, making Thoroughbred "faster, smaller, cooler". That's it, so far as details go.

AMD's offering in the value notebook segment (which it defines as sub-$1,799) today are the 600MHz and 700MHz mobile Durons, costing $75 and for $123 in OEM quantities of 1,000. The company is prepping production in Q2 for the mobile Morgan, while the Appaloosa, built using 0.13 micron technology, samples in Q1 2002 and goes into production in Q2 2002.

AMD is a laggard when it comes to mobile CPUs. Over the years it's had a number of cracks at this market but the results (to date) have been little more than the occasional cheap infill line for mobile PC OEMs.

2001 is the year that this is supposed to change, with the company taking Intel head-on at the top-end of the market. It's got the product. Trouble is, it's got another potentially formidable competitor in Transmeta, now snapping at its heels. (It was Transmeta and Intel that walked away with OEM contracts this week for Microsoft's Tablet PC.) ®