AMD Takes Aim At Intel

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Seattle - AMD is making another push to take some market share from rival Intel with the introduction this week of three new processors.

The Llanos A series of accelerated processing units (APU) being introduced are the A4, A6 and A8 series and will be aimed directly at the mid-range, $499 to $699, notebook category, said Leslie Sobon, AMD's product platform marketing VP. These are being marketed under the Fusion brand, which was rolled out at International CES.

"We are very focused on system price, particularly the A6 quad at the $599 laptop. We now have 12 to 14 percent share, and we want to grab more share here," Sobon said.

AMD believes its ace in the hole is its ability to offer discrete-level graphics ability on its processors.

"This [offering] represents the reason we bought ATI four years ago," she said.

Having direct access to ATI's intellectual property, Sobon said, has allowed AMD to better integrate the GPU with its processors.

"AMD will deliver better cost, power and heat [reduction] than Intel because of the ATI graphics on the chip. "You could call it a GPU with a CPU in it or a CPU with a GPU."

Raymond Dumbeck, AMD's client product marketing senior manager, added that the integration between GPU and CPU will advance over the next few years to the point where the two processor types will fully merge on the silicon.

The addition of the A series, which is a follow up to the first APUs rolled out by AMD late last year, is part of the company's plan to totally overturn its processor family by the end of 2011. When the company's Z series ships later this year, AMD will have almost fully replaced its stand-alone CPU product line with the Fusion APUs, Sobon said, eliminating names like Phenom, Athlon and Turion from AMD's lexicon. A few very high-end CPUs will remain available.

Hewlett-Packard reported its Pavilion dv and G notebook series can be configured with the AMD APU.

•The HP Pavilion dv6 starts at $599.99 and the Pavilion dv7 starts at $699.99. The Pavilion dv6 and dv7 are expected to be available in July.
•The HP Pavilion g4 starts at $449.99, the Pavilion g6 starts at $498 and the Pavilion g7 starts at $499. The HP Pavilion g-series is expected to be available in July.


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