AMD Launches Much-Awaited Notebook Chips
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Typically, Sobon said, when a PC has a discrete, or separate, graphics chip, the built-in integrated graphics functions of the chipset are disabled.
At the pricier end, AMD will include a high-end discrete ATI graphics chip for more intense gaming as well as working with high-definition home movies and the like, Sobon said.
"What we've heard clearly from our customers is that consumers have enough productivity power. They don't need to open Excel or Microsoft Word any faster," Sobon said. "What people need more performance on is ripping CDs, watching high-definition movies, editing and creating home movies."
The initial focus of the launch is on consumers, but AMD will also target small and medium-size businesses, which is a high-volume market and profitable for big PC makers, AMD said.
Puma's processing engine will not be the Barcelona core, which is in AMD's latest chip used to power servers, but had a small design flaw that delayed volume shipments. AMD has since fixed the problem and aims to ramp up production of Barcelona.
"Barcelona is another bet they have," said Roger Kay, president of market researcher Endpoint Technologies Associates. "I had initially thought that Puma would not do that much for them simply because (Intel's mobile chip) Centrino has so much momentum."
"But as it's unfolded it looks like Puma might be quite successful for AMD," Kay said. "In mainstream notebook computing, this is a very viable alternative to Intel."