Feeds

AMD to launch 'Puma' laptop platform next month

Challenging Centrino 2

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Intel may be gearing up to release Centrino 2, but let's not forget its arch-rival, AMD, is to release a notebook platform of its own, codenamed 'Puma'. The cat will be let out of the bag at Computex, in Taipei on 3 June.

So what's AMD going to announce? Puma comprises a new (ish) processor, 'Griffin', and AMD's 780M chipset. Griffin is a dual-core part based around a couple of old Turion 'K8'A-class cores. Unlike existing Turion chips, Griffin was design specifically for laptops and so features extra, mobile-friendly circuitry for better power management.

Indeed, power rather than performance is Griffin's watchword, though we expect it will still push past AMD's current mobile CPUs when the speeds and feeds are announced in June.

Griffin is expected to contain at least 2MB of L2 cache, with each core having 1MB all to itself. The two cores will be able to run at different clock speeds, allowing either or both to slow down - as far as 300MHz - when their workload lightens.

Griffin's northbridge circuitry combines the usual HyperTransport 3 controller and a DDR 2 memory manager capable of handling 667MHz and 800MHz memory, AMD has said in the past. These elements and the CPU cores all operate on separate voltage planes, to allow unneeded components to power down.

So if the 780M's DirectX 10 integrated graphics is churning through HD content, the CPUs can slow right down or go to sleep without affecting the memory controller's ability to keep the GPU fed with video data.

Likewise the bandwidth made available by the HyperTransport controller can be squeezed according to need, reducing the power required to support in-bound data, out-bound data or both.

The 780M's graphics core will work with a discrete graphics chip, if one's present, to render all the basic stuff and leave the main GPU to power right down until its needed for 3D rendering. Again, that should boost the battery life of Puma-based systems.

The 780M - or, possibly, the M780 - will also incorporate AMD's SB700 chipset, which can link in up to 14 USB ports, six SATA ports and parallel ATA devices, and provide HD audio.

A once touted Puma component was HyperFlash, AMD's answer to Intel's TurboMemory: a Flash-fitted module that provides a small chunk of solid-state storage for Windows Vista's ReadyBoost and ReadyDrive technologies to make use of.

Turbo Memory is available in a fair few top-end notebooks, but it's largely failed to grab attention as a performance booster that Intel may have hoped it would. Partly that's because of corporate indifference to Vista - though this may change now Service Pack 1 is here, and AMD is likely to want to tap into that with HyperFlash.

Support for HyperFlash is integrated into the SB700.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Reg man looks through a Glass, darkly: Google's toy ploy or killer tech specs?
Tip: Put the shades on and you'll look less of a spanner
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
One step closer to ROBOT BUTLERS: Dyson flashes vid of VACUUM SUCKER bot
Latest cleaner available for world+dog in September
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Tim Cook in Applerexia fears: New MacBook THINNER THAN EVER
'Supply chain sources' give up the goss on new iLappy
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.