AMD launches new XP-M chip for light notebooks

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) launched a new mobile chip for thin-and-light notebooks as it attempts to transfer its desktop and server momentum to the fast-growing notebook market.

AMD has three categories for its notebook processors. The new Athlon XP-M 2100+ processor falls into the low-power bracket for thin-and-light notebooks that require a cooler processor. The chip dissipates 25 watts of power at maximum power, about the same as Intel Corp.'s Pentium M chip.

The processor is based on AMD's seventh generation technology, with 512K bytes of Level 2 cache and a clock speed of 1.6GHz, an AMD spokeswoman said. The new chip is the highest-performing chip in AMD's low-power mobile processor category.

The company's eighth generation Opteron and Athlon 64 processors have drawn the attention of many server and PC vendors for their 32-bit performance and ability to run 64-bit applications once operating systems and applications are available. But AMD has found less success in the notebook market, where Intel's Pentium M and Mobile Intel Pentium 4 processors dominate. Intel also offers ultra-low voltage Pentium M processors that dissipate as little as 7 watts at maximum power, allowing them to be used in systems without cooling fans.

Notebooks are also one of the strongest segments of the PC market, and shipments are growing faster than desktops. That trend is expected to continue through this year.

The chip costs US$97 in quantities of 1,000 units.

AMD quietly released a revamped notebook chip last week in systems from Hewlett-Packard. That chip, the Athlon XP-M 3000+, used some of the architectural features of the Athlon 64, but did not have 64-bit capability.

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Tom Krazit

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