AMD to Enter Netbook Market by 2009

It was Financial Analyst Day at AMD. The rustling rumors had abounded for quite some time, with nothing to show to confirm or repudiate them. Speculation reigned where information was scant, but now the announcement has been made. Via webcast in Sunnyvale, California:

By 2009 Advanced Micro Devices will have entered the realm of netbook processors.

The processors introduced over the next few years will support DDR3 memory have two cores. The first to be released in 2009, a slim 45 nm chip which should support a cache of 1 MB, has been codenamed Conesus. A 2 MB chip, Geneva, is due to be released in 2010.

For those with a less technological bent, this means the new processors will be able power more than a basic “Web experience,” according to the senior VP of AMD’s Computing Solutions group Randy . This is a bit vague for my tastes but we’ll see what comes up in the near future.

The announcement has brushed aside rumors that AMD’s efforts at a low-power processor had been abandoned. Last year AMD had announced a chip called the Bobcat, “designed for maximum energy efficiency and performance-per-watt for next-generation mobile devices, scaling as low as 1 watt.” The Bobcat’s development had been alternatively confirmed and denied by officials at different stages, leading many observers to attempt a connecting of the dots between AMD’s consecutive quarterly losses and the Bobcat’s possible abandonment.

Though AMD calls it the “mini-notebook” market (as seen in the top picture), there is no doubt about whom it wishes to compete with. The netbook market is for the moment dominated by Intel’s versatile Atom processor, and AMD hopes its entrance into the market will provide some stiff competition. The Atom is currently available in the Asus Eee PC, among others, so it will certainly be a tight game from here on out.

We’ll keep you updated.

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