RealTime IT News

AMD Revitalizes its Geode Family

AMD reworked its low-power processor family with the addition of new chips designed for x86-based embedded environments, the company said Monday.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based chipmaker said it is adding the AMD Geode NX processors to compliment its current AMD Geode GX family.

The processors are designed for fan-less applications running Windows XP-based high-end thin clients, high-end printers, point-of-sale systems, information and transaction kiosks and telecommunications and networking equipment.

AMD said two new Geode NX chips are in the final production stage: the Geode NX 1500@6W, which runs at 1GHz, and the Geode NX 1750@14W, which clocks in at at 1.4GHz. In bulk quantities, the chips wholesale for $65 and $55, respectively. The NX1500 is also supported by the AMD Geode NX DB1500 development board, which contains processor, memory and peripherals.

The company said it plans on demonstrating its new Geode NX family at an industry event on June 2 in Taipei.

The Geode processor family is part of AMD's non-PC Internet Appliance market. Along with its Alchemy processor family, the company is targeting multimedia, access devices, computing devices, with growth opportunities in consumer electronics and communication segments. The new chips are expected to compete with other fanless, low-power processors such as rivals' Transmeta with its Crusoe and Efficeon chips as well as Intel's XScale product line.

In addition to introducing the Geode NX processors, AMD is renaming its current Geode GX2 processor Geode GX 533@1.1W processor. Also available is the Geode GX 466@0.9W processor and the Geode 500@1.0W processor.

Built on the GeodeLink architecture, AMD said its Geode GX processors run at slower clock rates but maintain their performance. The chips are also designed for the thin client, single board computers and mobile device markets.

AMD acquired the product line and technology from National Semiconductor last year.

As consumers are looking for more of a differentiator than processor speeds alone, companies like AMD and Intel are changing the way they identify their products. For example, Intel dropped the speed identifiers from its Pentium and Xeon processors in March in favor of identifiers based on performance.

AMD's tactic for its embedded processors going forward will include the provision of wattage requirements and performance benchmarks based on the Performance-Power Rating, which was developed and validated by Synchromesh Computing.

"The model numbers have been designed to provide a quick view of the performance and power capabilities of each processor in the AMD Geode Solutions product line," Iain Morris, group vice president, AMD Personal Connectivity Solutions Group said in a statement. "Using the model numbers, customers can determine if they need an extremely low-power solution as offered by our AMD Geode GX line, or a high-performance embedded solution that is now addressed with our AMD Geode NX product offering."