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AMD Steers Clear Of 'Netbook' Market

The chipmaker differentiates its Yukon strategy from Intel's Atom processor line by targeting ultraportables and not netbooks/mini-notebooks.

Antone Gonsalves

November 14, 2008

2 Min Read

Advanced Micro Devices on Friday said a low-power mobile platform it plans to deliver in the first quarter of next year will not target the emerging mini-notebook market, also known as netbooks.

Instead, the platform, code-named Yukon, is aimed at the larger ultraportable category, which the company defines as small laptop computers with screens from 11 inches to 13 inches and full-size keyboards, and weighing from 3 to 5 pounds, a spokesman said in an e-mail.

The clarification came in response to a query sent by InformationWeek, which, based on an AMD news release from Thursday, reported that the company planned to introduce processors for the mini-notebook market. Mini-notebooks, which are also called "netbooks," are defined as sub-$500 systems with screen sizes of 10 inches or less. Examples include the HP 2133 Mini-Note PC, Dell Inspiron Mini 9, and the Asus Eee PC 900.

"During the past few quarters, there has been a great deal of hype around the ultraportable notebook and mini-notebook markets, because of the small form factor and lightweight profile such devices offer. To capitalize on the growing interest in these form factors, AMD announced new platforms aimed at serving these markets," the release said.

Intel's Atom processor introduced this year is gaining traction among manufacturers of mini-notebooks, which are growing in popularity. Researcher Gartner says the market could reach 50 million shipments worldwide by 2012.

Nevertheless, AMD has decided to skip netbooks and aim its Yukon platform at ultraportable machines. Examples of such systems include Apple's MacBook Air and the Fujitsu LifeBook P8020.

"To be clear, Yukon is targeting ultraportables and not netbooks/mini-notebooks," the AMD spokesman said.

Yukon is expected to include a "slim" processor code-named Bobcat and a chipset with a total power consumption of less than 25 watts, AMD executives told analysts Thursday in a meeting at the company's Sunnyvale, Calif., headquarters. In 2011, AMD expects to introduce Brazos, the code name for a low-cost, low-power platform for mobile PCs that will include a dual-core system-on-a-chip implementation of Bobcat, code-named Ontario. The Brazos platform will use DDR3 memory.

AMD also announced at the meeting its product road map for servers, desktops, and mainstream notebooks.

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