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AMD Planning Netbook Chip for 2011

It seems clear enough that netbooks are here to stay. AMD has decided it's time to make a chip designed specifically for the thin and light devices, which it plans to bring to market next year.

Hardware Central has the story about AMD's plans for the netbook market, and hears from the company about how it's tweaking its marketing strategy.

Advanced Micro Devices plans to release a processor in its "Fusion" line that will be positioned for the netbook market, putting it in competition with the Intel Atom, and, to a lesser degree, the ARM processor.

The "Fusion" program is AMD's (NYSE: AMD) long-term project to integrate its CPU cores with graphics processor cores from ATI, which it acquired in 2006. The first Fusion processors are expected some time early next year. Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) has its own integrated processors, the Westmere family of Core i5/i7 chips, which feature integrated graphics in dual-core CPUs.

AMD hasn't yet hammered out all the specifics, but the netbook part will run in the 10-15 watt range, which is similar to the Intel Atom, and "it will have a good processor integrated with graphics, so you won't need the [Nvidia] Ion graphics to give it half-decent performance," according to Nigel Dessau, chief marketing officer at AMD.

The processor is likely from the "Bobcat" line of chips first disclosed last November. It will be designed for 12-inch and smaller screens. Intel has defined netbooks by screen size, and only supports 10-inch and smaller devices. AMD chose to make a new part rather than whittle down an existing one for the low-power, low-profile environment of netbooks.

Read the full story at Hardware Central:
AMD to Introduce Netbook Chip in 2011