After brief teases from HP and others, AMD today confirmed full details of its 2010 notebook chips. The mainstream processors are now known to be much more power efficient than both previous AMD chips and Intel's quad-core hardware. The four-core 2GHz Phenom II N930 and the 1.6GHz P920 use just 35W and 25W of power, rendering either of them miserly enough to sit in thin-and-light notebooks.
The semiconductor designer also has triple-core processors as a compromise that, at 2.1GHz and 1.8GHz, use similar amounts of power.
Other chips in the line trade either power or cores for performance. Desktop replacement notebooks can use the quad-core 2.3GHz Phenom II X920 Black Edition, which chews 45W for its extra speed. The dual-core, 3.1GHz X620 Black Edition uses similar power, and a mainstream two-core 2.8GHz N620 uses 35W of energy. Athlon II and Turion II dual-core processors are being updated and range between 2.1GHz and 2.5GHz with 25W to 35W of total power, and a lone Sempron-like V120 chip runs a single core at 2.2GHz and 25W of power.
The ultrathin platform has been given a refresh as well and revolves around the Turion II Neo, which runs at 1.5GHz or 1.7GHz but uses only 15W of power. A 1.3GHz Athlon II Neo consumes similar energy. Just two single-core chips will be available, a 1.7GHz Athlon II Neo that uses 12W of power and a 1.2GHz V105 that uses 9W.
All of these are joining AMD's Vision platform and will have much improved Radeon HD 4250 integrated graphics when not using dedicated hardware. Combined, the platform can provide graphics about twice as quick as those with an Intel-based notebook, the company said.
PCs should already be available starting today and will roll out over the rest of the year.
The launch of the new mobile platform could be critical not just for AMD's attempt to regain a competitive standing in against Intel in notebooks but to land new customers. It has been rumored in talks with Apple that could give MacBooks an alternative to Intel. NVIDIA's dispute with Intel has left Apple without fast integrated graphics needed to bring Core i3 and i5 to its small 13-inch portables, and the new Phenom IIs would allow at least the plastic MacBook and 13-inch MacBook Pro to get upgraded video and even additional cores.