Saturday, June 7, 2008

AMD Rolls Out Highly-Anticipated AMD Turion X2 Ultra Mobile Platform

Advanced Micro Devices on Wednesday introduced its highly-anticipated new-generation platform for mobile computers code-named Puma. The new platform includes a brand-new AMD Turion X2 Ultra microprocessor with advanced power management capabilities as well as a breed of new chipsets with rich multimedia functionality. Notebooks powered by Puma are likely to become popular among consumers.

“AMD is uniquely positioned to deliver balanced platform solutions that tightly couple computing and graphics capabilities for a visually rich user experience. Our next-generation AMD notebook platform contains a host of interrelated innovations that together deliver enhanced business productivity and the ultimate in HD visual performance on the go,” said Dirk Meyer, president and chief operating officer at AMD.

AMD Turion X2 Ultra Enters the Scene

The heart of AMD’s latest notebook platform is AMD Turion X2 Ultra processor code-named Griffin. The new dual-core Turion X2 Ultra processor is based on the approved K9 micro-architecture, but sports several substantial enhancements aimed to reduce power consumption of the chip. In particular, the new central processing unit can independently clock each of its cores depending on the workload or disable a core if it is not needed, it sports power optimized HyperTransport 3.0 bus as well as dual-channel DDR2 memory controller with reduced power consumption.

Initially there will be three AMD Turion X2 Ultra processors available: ZM-80 (2.10GHz, 512KB cache per core [1MB L2 in total]), ZM-82 (2.20GHz, 512KB cache per core [1MB L2 in total]) and ZM-86 (2.40GHz, 1MB cache per core [2MB L2 in total]). Thermal design power of AMD Turion X2 Ultra processors is 35W, however, since the chip has power saving capabilities, actual average power consumption should be considerably lower than that.

The new processors are made using 65nm silicon-on-insulator process technology at AMD Fab 36 in Dresden, Germany.

AMD Improves Multimedia Capabilities of Mobile Computers

The new processors are compatible with new AMD 7-series chipsets for mobile applications that bring a lot of multimedia capabilities to the mobile platform. The new series of chipsets for notebooks includes the AMD M780G chipset with ATI Radeon HD 3200 integrated graphics core with DirectX 10 support and Hybrid CrossFireX support, the AMD M780V chipset with ATI Radeon 3100 integrated graphics core, the AMD M780 discrete chipset that should be coupled with ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3000-series discrete graphics processing units. All chipsets will work with existing AMD SB700 I/O controller, at least initially.

Along with the new processors and chipsets, AMD also introduced ATI Radeon HD 3800-series discrete graphics processing units for notebooks aimed at gaming and multimedia applications.

“With the advent of Microsoft Windows Vista, its new graphics and multimedia features, as well as the applications that will be tailored to this operating system, discrete graphics have become a much more important part of the purchase decision. With the transition from desktops to laptops, consumers and business professionals are not only seeking the portability and connectivity provided by notebook PCs, they are also unwilling to compromise on the features and performance needed to drive the latest generation operating systems and applications. This next generation of notebooks must deliver the graphics and video capabilities to address this requirement,” said Bob O’Donnell, program vice president at IDC.

Notebooks powered by AMD Puma platform will feature various communication option, including 802.11a/b/g and/or 802.11 draft-N as well as 3G or WiMAX support.

Over 100 Design Wins

With this new-generation AMD notebook platform, AMD has nearly doubled the number of design wins over the previously unveiled dual-core AMD Turion 64 X2 to over 100. As well, the number of AMD notebooks with discrete graphics has increased by approximately 30% over the last major technology introduction of dual-core into the AMD Turion, the company indicated.

These new notebook designs come from leading OEMs including Acer, Asustek computer, Fujitsu, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, HP, MSI, NEC and Toshiba.

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