IDF, Fall 2005: AMD demos dual-core mobile chip

AMD has taken advantage of the Intel Developer Forum to reveal a working sample of its mobile dual-core processor.

‘We are already the first manufacturer to bring dual core technology to the notebook,’ said Bahr Mahony, the division marketing manager of AMD’s mobile business segment, referring to the dual-core X2 inside Voodoo’s Envy Heavyweight laptop. Although the X2 is a desktop part, its lower power demands make it far more suitable to notebooks than Intel’s Pentium D.

AMD had already announced that it would be rolling out a mobile dual-core processor in 2006. ‘We’re now narrowing that to the first half of 2006,’ said Mahoney. At the moment, the product is very much proof-of-concept only: the actual system was a beige midi-tower box, and inside was a motherboard approaching ATX size – just with SODIMM sockets, a mobile-size CPU and fewer on-board controllers. Nevertheless, it’s not difficult to extrapolate from this to a true dual-core mobile CPU notebook next year.

With this in place, Mahoney is hopeful that AMD can take 20 per cent market share within three years – currently, it stands at around 10 per cent worldwide. But AMD has no plans to usurp Intel as the market leader, or to match its brand recognition for Centrino mobile technology. ‘Our goal isn’t to make our brand superior to our OEMs’ brand [original equipment manufacturers, such as HP]. Our goal is to be a profitable supplier of notebook processors for the mobile business and return a profit to our shareholders.’

AMD’s shareholders should certainly take comfort from the fact that the company isn’t overspending on marketing. While Intel has flown hundreds of journalists from around the world to San Francisco, AMD’s expenditure is limited to a handful of hotel rooms.

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