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AMD ships dual-core CPU for thin'n'light laptops

Neo takes on Intel's CULV

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Computex AMD's dual-core Athlon Neo, a chip aimed at the same makers of ultra-skinny laptops that Intel is currently pitching its small CPUs - aka CULV, for Consumer Ultra Low Voltage - to, is now available in volume.

AMD has yet to detail the specifications of the dual-core chip, codenamed 'Conesus'. The single-core Athlon Neo MV-40 runs at 1.6GHz, has 512KB of L2 cache and is fabbed at 65nm. Conesus is known to contain 1MB of L2 and a DDR 2 memory controller. It's fabbed at 45nm, so it should have headroom for a higher clock frequency than 1.6GHz.

Not that Intel's hanging around. Yesterday, it announced it was shipping its latest CULV processor, the Pentium SU2700, a 1.3GHz part aimed at mainstream thin'n'light laptops. It consumes up to 10W of power.

The SU2700 is likely to be paired with the GS40 chipset Intel also announced yesterday. It's a "value" chipset but features souped up graphics, at least in comparison with the previous-generation chipsets usually used in cheaper thin'n'light machines. The GS40 has a GMA 4500M graphics core running at 400MHz and capable of grabbing up to 385MB of system memory as its frame buffer. The chipset supports HDMI.

Graphics is a key weapon in AMD's arsenal too, however, and the dual-core Neo will be offered with a chipset that integrates the company's Radeon 3200 core - a big step up from previous Neo-oriented parts which had a Radeon 1200 GPU on board. ®

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