AMD strikes at Intel with Puma laptop chips

AMD plans to launch a bundle of mobile chipsets, code-named "Puma”, to keep up with Intel's "Santa Rosa" notebook system.

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AMD plans to launch a bundle of mobile chipsets, code-named "Puma”, to keep up with Intel's "Santa Rosa" notebook system.

AMD will create Puma by combining a mobile processor called "Griffin" with a new RS780 chipset to allow PC vendors to build notebooks with better power management, memory efficiency and processor bandwidth than the current generation of Turion processors can achieve. It will also allow vendors to combine Griffin chips with third-party chipsets, although those systems would forfeit some power management features.

AMD hopes the Puma system will tighten its grasp on part of the hard-won notebook PC market, which was loosened on 9 May when Intel launched the Santa Rosa upgrade to its popular Centrino notebook PC platform. However, the company will have to overcome Intel's lead in bringing the product to market. AMD won't begin shipping full volumes of the parts to PC vendors until the end of 2007, so Puma notebooks will not reach store shelves until the middle of 2008.

Despite the delay, Puma will have certain advantages over Intel's new Centrino Duo and Centrino Pro, such as an ability to process Microsoft's DirectX 10 graphics, compared to the DirectX 9 standard supported by Santa Rosa systems, one analyst said. Both platforms will handle HD-DVD and Blu-Ray high-definition video and HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) streaming.

Those features could allow AMD to build on its recent success in the server and consumer markets and reach for a greater slice of the lucrative business notebook segment, said Samir Bhavnani, director of research at Current Analysis West.

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