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ATI ships 'first' mobile AMD chipset

Turion-ready

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ATI has begun shipping a mobile version of the Radeon Xpress 200 chipset it launched for AMD Athlon 64 and Sempron-based desktop systems late last year.

Pitching the part, the Xpress 200M, as the world's first PCI Express, integrated DirectX 9-supporting chipset for notebooks equipped with AMD processors, ATI declared the part to be suitable for AMD's Turion mobile platform.

Turion is AMD's attempt to counter the momentum Intel has gained in the mobile market with the Centrino platform. But whereas Centrino comprises processor, chipset and Wi-Fi adaptor, ATI's comment suggest Turion will be limited to CPU and WLAN connector.

That's perhaps no great surprise given that AMD has generally avoided chipsets, at least in the mobile and desktop markets, in the past. But it ensures Turion will be more brand than platform if any of half a dozen or so chipset vendors can ship chipsets that tie into it. It will certainly make it easier for Intel to stress the greater level of vertical integration Centrino offers over its rival's brand.

But back to the Radeon Xpress 200M, which adds ATI's PowerPlay 5.0 power conservation system connected to the chipset's Radeon X300-class graphics core. It also incorporates HyperMemory, ATI's AGP-like technique for connecting the graphics core to the main system memory, though the chipset also supports up to 128MB of dedicated video RAM too.

The chipset supports AMD processors connected across an 800MHz or 1GHz HyperTransport bus. Up to four PCI-E x1 lanes for general connectivity are included, along with eight USB 2.0 ports, seven PCI slots, and Serial ATA with Raid 0 and 1.

ATI said Sharp's Mebius PCXG-50H and PCXG-70H mobile media centres are based on the new chipset and are already available. Further 200M-based notebook designs are on their way from HP, Medion, Acer, Targa, Gateway, NEC, Mitac, Arima, MSI, Compal, Quanta and Wistron, the company said. ®

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