Melbourne firm shows off 'world first' AMD 64-bit laptop

As AMD launches its Athlon 64 processor today, one of its partners will be showing off what it claims is the world’s first 64-bit laptop using the new chip.

Melbourne-based distributor, QD Innovative Computer, hopes to be the first to market with a 64-bit laptop, launching the QD1-A520 to coincide with the worldwide launch of AMD’s Athlon 64.

The Athlon 64 is the latest plank in AMD’s 64-bit processor strategy, which was launched with the Opteron server and workstation processor earlier this year. The Athlon 64 moves the technology down to the desktop PC and notebook market.

QD Innovative, a laptop specialist which distributes for Hi-Grade Computers, expects to have supply of the Athlon 64 laptop in the last week of November, director, Danny Wang, said.

They were expected to go into mass production in Taiwan this week, he said.

QD Innovative expected to move “quite a few hundred” of the Athlon 64 notebooks in the leadup to Christmas, Wang said.

3D gamers were amongst the target market, alongside users of graphics heavy applications, he said.

While early adopters of the Athlon 64 are expected to be high end, graphics-intensive users, AMD A/NZ country manager John Robinson, said the migration path offered by AMD’s 64-bit processors would give the chip broad appeal.

AMD has been keen to sell its 64-bit processor chips for their ability to run older 32-bit applications, as much as on its processing power.

“There are a lot of people who would benefit now, and some people who don’t need it now, but want the investment protection,” Robinson said.

The availability of software applications written for 64-bit operating systems is expected to help drive the migration to 64-bit, with a slew of games expected by Christmas.

Some people were waiting for Microsoft to release its native 64-bit versions of Windows XP and Server 2003 for AMD’s Opteron and Athlon 64 chips, he said. They are currently in beta testing.

Systems containing the Athlon 64 will boast “Ready for AMD64” badges, as part of AMD’s latest marketing strategy. The badges, similar to Intel’s famous “Intel inside” badge, aim to increase end user awareness of AMD’s 64-bit computing message.

As part of the new “Ready for AMD64” campaign, AMD will phase out the Opteron logo.

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