Skip to comments.AMD Announces its Highest-performance Mobile Graphics Chip Ever
Posted on 06/04/2008 9:26:39 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
AMD today announced the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3800, tripling top-of-the line graphics performance in comparison to the previous generation ATI Mobility Radeon GPUs1. Joining the previously announced ATI Mobility Radeon 3000 family, the new ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3800 series offers notebook manufacturers the ability to deliver fast graphics performance, energy-efficient 55nm graphics processor technology, amazing video playback, and, for the first time ever, ATI CrossFireX technology for a mobile graphics solution. ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3800 series coupled with the AMD Turion X2 Ultra Processors, the AMD 7-Series Chipset, and industry-leading wireless technologies like 802.11n Draft 2.0 form the next-generation AMD notebook platform, also announced today, for the ultimate in HD visual performance on the go.
Ok, how much? Only a ballpark figure necessary for my fantasy.
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) will uncage its Puma laptop chip platform at events in Taipei and Paris on Wednesday. It's the first new laptop platform the microprocessor manufacturer has developed since it acquired graphics chip specialist ATI -- and perhaps the last such platform in which central processor and graphics processor will be separate components.
"The next generation is all about graphics and throughput," said Leslie Sobon, AMD's worldwide director of product marketing. "Nobody needs to open Word and Excel documents faster," she said, so instead AMD is focusing on speeding up video and video games performance for home users.
Turion X2 Ultra
There's no "Puma inside" logo to promote it, though: Customers looking for the latest chips will need to check that they're getting a laptop with an AMD Turion X2 Ultra processor (the "Ultra" is new), the 780 chipset and an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3000 Series graphics chip -- or maybe two, if they want to profit from one of the platform's power-saving, performance-enhancing features: hybrid graphics.
Some of the graphics chips that work with the Turion X2 Ultra are already on the market, but AMD is adding a discrete graphics chip at the high end of the range, the 3870.
Of the 100 or so notebook designs being readied using the new platform, around one-third will use discrete graphics chips, said Sobon. Those models may appeal more to Europeans: Around half of laptops sold in Europe include discrete graphics chips, which use their own memory rather than sharing system resources. In the U.S. about one-fifth of laptops ship with these chips.
"Europe understands the value of discrete graphics, the U.S. not so much," she said. "If you have [US]$50 to $100 more to spend on a laptop, those dollars are better spent on discrete graphics than on faster clock speed."
No Lenovo or Apple
Companies building laptops with Puma components include Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu-Siemens, HP, NEC and Toshiba, she said. But there'll be no Puma notebook platform from Lenovo or Apple: "Of course" we tried to sell the processors to Apple, said Sobon, noting that the company does buy ATI graphics chips from AMD.
Watch for the Laptops that have it...see just above.
Dean Takahashi | June 3rd, 2008
Advanced Micro Devices is launching a new graphics-oriented platform for its laptop chips today. And for once, because of a short Intel delay, it has a small window to hit back at the worlds biggest chip maker. The upshot for consumers will be more choices of faster laptops with better battery life.
AMD used to make Intel look so bad, starting in 2003 when AMD launched the Opteron processor. But now the worlds biggest chip maker has turned the tables. Nowhere has Intels lead been stronger than in mobile with its Centrino platform.
For the first time in two years, AMD is launching a new platform for laptops, dubbed Turion X2 and Turion X2 Ultra, with new laptop chips. With platform (code-named Puma), AMD is promoting graphics ability, gaming, and high-definition video performance. Since Intel has the processor performance edge, AMD has to go this route and push consumers to consider graphics performance.
With Turion X2, AMD is targeting desktop replacement and mid-range notebooks with large screens and high-performance. Intel has a much broader product range of portable chips, from its Atom chips for tiny handhelds to its high-end Core 2 Duo chips for entertainment laptops. But Bahr Mahoney, an AMD product marketer, says the companys Turion lines will be able to hit about 92 percent of the laptop market.
It remains to be seen how this round turns out. AMD says that more than 100 Puma-based machines are coming from computer makers; thats more than twice the number the original Turion platform launched with in 2006. Intel is expected to have a lot more notebook models with Montevina, according to JoAnne Feeney, an analyst at FTN Midwest Securities.
Intel, meanwhile, will counter Puma with its Montevina platform, which has a new chipset with WiMax-based wireless Internet radios for the first time. The Montevina platform has apparently been delayed until mid-August. Thanks to the relentless innovation of the chip rivals and other advances in mobile, International Data Corp. predicts that 2008 will go down as the year when mobile shipments surpass desktops.
The Puma platform will have two variants, the Turion X2 and the Turion X2 Ultra. Each consists of a bunch of chips that AMD will offer as a one-stop shopping solution for computer makers. The chips include AMDs newest mobile processors, ATI Radeon graphics chips, the 7 series chip set, and certified WiFi chips from AMDs wireless chip partners.
Mahoney says that Intel has been overselling consumers on beefy microprocessors with weak graphics, leaving an opening for Puma to satisfy consumers who want better graphics. AMD currently has about 20 percent of the notebook processor market. But well see what happens when Intel launches its own broadsides in the mobile war.
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