June 15, 2011

AMD Challenges Intel With New Chips

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is challenging its rivals Intel and Nvidia with the unveiling of new processors aimed at mainstream personal computers.

Mid-to-high-end laptops and desktop computers will include both central and graphics processors with AMD's new Llano chips, which are part of AMD's Fusion family.

AMD Senior vice president and products-group general manager Rick Bergman told The Register: "Two and a half years or so ago"¦ I brought up a bold promise: that in 2011 AMD would deliver a supercomputer in a notebook."

The Llano chip is capable of four hundred gigaflops, single-precision in a notebook, reports The Register.

The Sunnyvale, California-based company says that the chips have a much-improved battery life and will be available in laptops and desktop computers soon.

AMD has not had a chief executive for almost six months. In January, AMD's board removed Chief Executive Dirk Meyer due to concerns that he had not targeted tablet computers and smartphones.

Apple's iPad popularity has hurt demand for the personal computer and many investors reflect this sentiment in AMD and Intel shares this year because both companies have yet to significantly enter the mobile market.

According to UBS analyst Uche Orji, AMD's revenue would increase by $137 million with a one percentage point increase in the notebook market share.

Eighty percent of the world's PCs have Intel processors, and some analysts suggest that the company will reduce its prices in response to any signs of it losing sales, says Reuters.

Although Intel has also launched its own new lineup of PC chips that also combine central and graphics processing, investors are still concerned that the company still lacks progress in the mobile market.

Regardless of investor concerns, Bergman says that the Llano is not AMD's last APU stop.

"Our next product, called Trinity, is lined up for next year, as well. And that performance is going to be at least 50 percent faster than the performance you see today from Llano," he says.

"And then think out ten years from now "“ or less than years from now "“ to 2020: 10 teraflops of performance in a notebook," Bergman promises.

As AMD and Intel put out new chips with graphics horsepower added, which is more than enough for most PC users, rival Nvidia, who has specialized in add-on graphics processors for many years, has focused its graphics expertise towards the fast-growing market of low-power processors in tablets and smartphones, reports Reuters.


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