AMD Renews Bid for Set-Tops, Tablet PCs

Advanced Micro Devices releases the AMD Geode LX, a low-power processor that runs at a fixed rate of 500 MHz.

Advanced Micro Devices has released the AMD Geode LX, a low-power processor that the company hopes will help it achieve its "x86 Everywhere" strategy.

The chips selling point is its low power: 900 milliwatts, substantially less than the 7 watts or so that the 1.2-GHz Pentium M 753 from Intel consumes. But AMDs Geode LX runs at a fixed rate of 500 MHz, which AMD executives say will be enough to run Windows XP.

AMDs goal was to create a processor with the highest performance per watt in the industry, according to Charles Ditmer, division marketing manager for AMDs Embedded Solutions Group and a marketing manager for the LX800 processor.

Reducing the chips power means that a wider range of devices can incorporate the chip. More than 17 customers are testing the design, with at least one each from the tablet, personal video recorder, "micro" PC, thin client and set-top box categories.

/zimages/2/28571.gifClick here to read about a low-power 64-bit Opteron processor from AMD.

The bulk of AMDs sales continue to be in the desktop and enterprise processor category, which helped prompt the company to decide to spin off its flash business in April.

AMDs embedded business is made up of the Geode GX and SCxxx family that the company inherited from National Semiconductor, as well as the Geode NX, a more robust 667-MHz to 1.2-GHz Athlon-based processor that is designed for more robust applications.

Its all part of AMDs "x86 Everywhere" strategy, a hypothesis AMDs chief architect first put forward in 2003. Weber argued then that the number of engineers devoted to improving the several competing embedded architectures was holding back the industry as a whole. The embedded market should consolidate on x86 as the PC market has done, he argued.

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