AMD, Via ready mobile chips for low-cost notebooks

Via announced that volume shipments of its first mobile Cyrix III processors, running at clock speeds of 500MHz and 600MHz, will start as early as next month. The chips will be the first to feature Via's LongHaul power saving technology which officials said can extend battery life by up to 50 per cent.

Designed to use the same Socket 370 architecture used by its desktop sibling, the mobile Cyrix III is aimed squarely at the low-end of the notebook market, a Via spokesman said. Pricing starts at $US55, for a minimum of 1,000 units.

"We are targeting the $US1,000 segment," he added, referring to notebooks in that price range.

AMD, meanwhile, has already started shipping samples of a mobile version of its Duron processor, which runs at a lower voltage and consumes less power than the desktop version of the chip that was released in June, a company official said in a presentation here at the Via Technology Forum.

Aimed at the "value" segment of the notebook market, the Duron will be positioned to compete against Intel's mobile Celeron processors. Further details about when the chip will be officially introduced were not available.

In related news, Intel next week is expected to introduce three new mobile processors, including a 700MHz Celeron chip.

The mobile Duron will be compatible with future mobile versions of AMD's high-end Athlon processors. This will allow notebook vendors an easy upgrade path to the faster chips using the same architecture.

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Terho Uimonen

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