AMD Concedes to Intel's Atom

Those of us who were hoping to see AMD enter the race against Intel’s Atom processor are disappointed to see no such thing unfold today. Instead of unveiling a processor that could stand up against Intel’s power miserly Atom, which is at the heart of every netbook worth mentioning, AMD turned its attention to the slightly more upscale ultraportable market.

AMD introduced two new ultraportable notebook platforms, Congo and Yukon. AMD materials describe Congo as based upon the dual-core “Conesus” CPU with the RS780M and SB710 chipset; and Yukon is based upon a single-core CPU with the RS690E and SB600 chipset. Both platforms aim to provide more capability and power to users “who are dissatisfied with the limited experience offered by mini-notebooks.”

Yukon will have a thermal design power value of 25 W (both processor and chipset), making it incomparable to the Intel Atom. Yukon is planned to be available in the first half of 2009, while Congo will appear in the latter half.

By 2010, AMD’s ultraportable platform will be “Nile,” a dual-core “Geneva” CPU utilizing DDR3. In 2011, AMD plans to introduce the dual-core “Ontario” APU (that’s Accelerated Processing Units) for ultraportable and mini-notebook platforms.

It should be clear by now that Intel has successfully cornered the netbook market with its impressive Atom processor – a claim that AMD will leave to its competitor uncontested.

“Atom is targeting markets we’re not even [going] after,” AMD said, in a comment recorded by, adding that Yukon will offer a more ‘complete’ PC experience.

Bahr Mahoney, director of AMD’s mobile division, said that the company won’t be going after the netbook market as volume is dramatically in favor of more powerful machines. Mahoney also added that AMD will not offer specific solutions for the business user. “We don’t offer the ultimate in the battery life that some of the enterprise customers are looking for in enterprise ulramobiles,” said Mahoney.

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  • wild9
    It is refreshing to see such honesty. It also means that AMD is not running with this particualar pack because it doesn't need to.