AMD Prowls For Notebook Wins With Puma

Advanced Micro Devices is showcasing its new notebook platform at the Computex show in Taipei, Taiwan and on Wednesday announced the availability of a new dual-core Turion mobile processor and a new 7-series chipset optimized for mobility as part of the product launch codenamed Puma.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based chip maker's next-generation mobile platform launch comes as AMD's main x86 rival Intel recently announced that its own highly anticipated new notebook platform, codenamed Montevina, has been delayed from a late June launch to mid-summer due to technical issues with the Intel 4 Series Express chipset and a separate certification hang-up the basic Wi-Fi chip included in the newly-branded Centrino 2 platform.

AMD's Puma release ties in with a series of initiatives for commercial, gaming and multimedia-optimized systems the chip maker has launched recently, said Bahr Mahony, director of AMD's mobile division, in a recent interview with ChannelWeb. The new hardware platform will be used in notebooks branded AMD Business Class, AMD Game! and AMD Live! in collaboration with top OEMs and system builders, according to Mahony.

AMD is also claiming to have secured "more than double the number of design wins" from top OEMs for Puma coming out of the gate than it had for its previous major Turion introduction. These include new notebook designs from Acer, Asus, Clevo, Fujitsu, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, HP, MSI, NEC and Toshiba, according to AMD.

The guts of the Puma platform includes the new Turion X2 Ultra Dual-Core mobile processor and the AMD M780G with ATI Radeon HD 3200 integrated graphics, the new mobile 7-series chipset based on the well-reviewed desktop version of the board. The Turion X2 features enhancements to the previous generation of AMD notebook CPUs such as a mobile-optimized memory controller and HyperTransport 3.0, according to the chip maker. The new chipset supports Microsoft DirectX 10 and delivers integrated graphics with "up to three times the 3D graphics of comparable competitor graphics," according to AMD.

Discrete graphics available for higher end configurations of Puma notebooks include cards in the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3000 series, including the new 3800 series simultaneously announced by AMD at Wednesday's Computex launch. Discrete graphics products from Nvidia are also supported on the Puma platform, Mahony said.

Meanwhile, an Intel spokesperson said the planned release date for Montevina had never been established by Intel as coinciding with this week's Computex show, contrary to earlier reporting by ChannelWeb and other media outlets, but rather towards the end of June. With the initial Centrino 2 release now set for July 14, that would make the delay a matter of a few weeks, not more than a month as originally reported.

The full platform release remains scheduled for early August, according to Intel.

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