AMD Launches Puma platform for Laptops, InteL's Centrino 2 deLayed
AMD finally has an answer to Intel's Centrino mobile plat¬form, which has been the dominant platform for a few years now. The just-launched Puma is AMD's first new laptop platform since it acquired graphics chip spe¬cialist ATI, and is perhaps the last such platform in which the CPU and GPU will be separate components.
According to Leslie Sobon, AMD's worldwide director of product market¬ing, the next generation is all about graphics and throughout AMD is focus¬ing on speeding up video and games for home users. "Nobody needs to open Word and Excel documents faster," she said.
The Puma platform con¬sists of an AMD Turion X2 Ultra processor (the "Ultra" is new), the AMD 780 chip¬set and an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3000 series graphics chip. The platform supports power-saving as well as performance-enhanc¬ing hybrid graphics. AMD is adding a high-end discrete graphics chip, the 3870, apart from the graphics chip that is part of the platform. However, the hybrid graphiCS capability will come in late in the third quarter of this year.
The Turion X2 Ultra proces¬sor has other power-saving capabilities. Power to either of its dual cores, or the inte¬grated memory controller, can be reduced or cut entire¬ly, depending on its level of activity. It can also offioad the video encoding and decoding activities involved in playing DVDs or editing videos to the graphics chip, reducing power consumption. With wireless, unlike Intel, AMD thinks it can do better by allowing laptop designers to choose their preferred third¬party wireless products, rath¬er than imposing its own.
Analyst's expectations for Puma are high. But it may not have much effect on notebook pricing. As tech¬nology gets improved, com¬ponents get replaced at the same price point. In similar news regarding AMD's rival, after weeks of buildup, Intel officially announced the availability of its Atom CPUs (code named Diamondville) at Computex.