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AMD Updates Its ATI Mobility Radeon Graphics Chips

The 4000 series includes a number of advanced capabilities, such as support for Microsoft's DirectX 10.1, the graphics technology available only in Windows Vista.
Advanced Micro Devices on Friday introduced a line of mobile graphics processors designed for laptops ranging from low-cost models to the high-end gaming machines.

AMD launched the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4000 series at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The series includes a number of advanced capabilities, such as support for Microsoft's DirectX 10.1, the graphics technology available only in Windows Vista, and technology for delivering high-quality digital surround sound.

In general, the HD 4800 line is designed for gaming laptops, the 4600 series for more mainstream laptops that need to balance performance and energy efficiency, and the 4500 and 4300 lines for thin and light laptops. All the processors are aimed at standard-size notebooks, and not mini-notebooks, often called netbooks.

The 4800 series supports AMD's ATI CrossFireX technology, which enables a system to run two Radeon HD 4870 or 4850 graphics processors to break the 1-teraflop speed barrier. A teraflop is equal to a trillion scientific calculations a second.

In addition, the 4800 series supports GDDR5 memory, which is nearly twice the memory bandwidth of previous generations, for better game performance, AMD said.

Overall, the latest chip series is the second generation of GPUs built with AMD's 55-nanometer manufacturing process. The products include a number of energy-efficiency technologies, including AMD's ATI PowerPlay, an activity-based power management system that conserves energy at idle.

The 4000 series is expected to ship in this quarter in laptops from a number of manufacturers, including Asustek and MSI, AMD said.

The latest chips are low-power versions of the ATI Radeon HD 4000 series AMD launched six months ago for desktops.

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