AMD, HP Combine to Launch 'Yukon' Platform for Ultraportable Laptops - Page 2

What Spooner believes AMD needs to do is look beyond the consumer market and toward small and midsize businesses that want to buy their employees lightweight notebooks but not pay a premium for the technology.

McAfee did note that AMD is looking to bring Yukon into specific vertical markets, such as education and government, in the coming years, although he did not offer a specific time frame.

With the Yukon platform, AMD is looking to separate itself from both the Intel Atom and its low-volt offerings when it comes to graphics. With Yukon, AMD is offering a choice of using the integrated graphics with the RS690E chip set or a discrete graphics card such as the Radeon HD3410.

The HP dv2 notebook, for example, uses the discrete ATI graphics card.

The use of discrete graphics should allow the Yukon platform to handle Microsoft DirectX APIs and enable the laptop to handle video decoding much faster. The HP dv2 laptop can also support an HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) port as well.

In order to keep the cost and the thermal envelope down, AMD turned to its older K8 microarchitecture for the Athlon Neo processor. In addition to its 1.6GHz clock speed, the Athlon Neo is built on a 65-nanometer manufacturing process and supports 512KB of Level 2 cache. The processor also works within a 15-watt TDP (thermal design power) envelope.

This low-power Athlon Neo meant that AMD could build its Yukon platform to work within a total TDP of 35 watts.

Later in 2009, AMD plans to offer a dual-core version of the Athlon Neo, although no specific date has been set. Also later this year, AMD will offer another platform-"Congo"-that will upgrade the chip set and possibly offer users the dual-core version of the processor.

Further down AMD's product road map, the Athlon Neo will be replaced by a processor built on a new processing core architecture now code-named "Bobcat."