AMD's 'Puma' Mobile Plaftorm To Chase Centrino


AMD has announced plans for a full-fledged mobile platform designed to go up against Intel's dominant Centrino platform.

At a press conference in Japan, the No. 2 chipmaker unveiled plans for its next-generation "Puma" mobile platform, consisting of a new mobile processor, code-named "Griffin," and the "RS780" mobile chipset.

The silicon will move into production later this year; AMD expects systems based on Puma to begin shipping in 2008, AMD said.

AMD will have an uphill battle against rival Intel, which dominates in the mobile category, and earlier this month launched its next-generation "Santa Rosa" Centrino platform based on an enhanced Core 2 Duo and Centrino Pro management platform.

"AMD's share in the worldwide mobile PC market is smaller, compared to its desktop share -- 13 percent for mobile PC versus 26 percent for desktop PCs for 2006," said Mika Kitagawa, principal analyst, Client Computing Markets at Gartner. "This will be a catching-up product to Intel's platform. It may be able to protect current AMD market share going forward, but I do not think that it will generate significant market share."

The Griffin mobile processor will offer many power-savings features to extend battery life, including an optimized HyperTransport 3.0 that not only triples I/O speed, but allows each core to go into reduce-power states and operate at different frequency and voltages.

The RS780 mobile chipset, which will be based on PCI Express 2 and HyperTransport 3.0, will offer support for Direct X10 and high definition multimedia, plus integrated multimonitor support with DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort and new wireless technologies.

The chipset will also offer native southbridge support for NAND Flash with HyperFlash, and a technology dubbed PowerXpress that allows extended battery life via dynamic switching between internal and external graphics.

In the interim, the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company will try to make do in the mobile market with its M690 mobile chipset and 65-nm-based Turion 64 X2 dual-core mobile chips that shipped in April and May, respectively.

"Puma will support both ATI Radeon and NVIDIA, even as the company works on integrating the CPU, chipset and graphics in a single processor after the acquisition of ATI last year," AMD also announced, adding that an integrated chip, code-named "Fusion," is expected to make it debut in notebook systems.