Embedded Chipset Fills Out AMD Portfolio

AMD has added the final piece to its embedded lineup of products with the announcement today of the AMD M690 chipset. The chipmaker has long offered embedded processors, but the M690 adds graphics processing and connectivity for a complete, single vendor solution.

AMD  will make the formal announcement at the Embedded Systems Conference today in San Jose, Calif. AMD has already disclosed the Socket S1 and M690 boards for embedded developers.

AMD has made a major push into embedded in recent months, with the Socket S1, Turion, Sempron, Athlon and even Opteron processors. But AMD’s embedded story was by and large just processors.

“In the past, AMD always used to say ‘We allow our customers to buy best of breed product,’ but they were saying that because they didn’t have a chipset,” Greg Quick, systems analyst with the 451 Group told internetnews.com. “Intel has long had chipsets and integrated graphics, so this really levels the playing field for AMD.”

Jeff Chu, division marketing manager for AMD’s embedded solutions group, admits this fills a need in the company’s product line.

“In that in the past, we’ve said there are different chipsets to choose from, but we’ve had a lot of customer demand to be a one stop shop to provide everything, and with the acquisition of ATI, we can,” he told internetnews.com.

The 690 chipset, developed by ATI, was announced last month. It integrates PCI and PCI Express expansion slots, USB 2.0, display options, high-definition audio, and gigabit Ethernet.

The graphics engine is provided by the Radeon 1250 processor, a fair but far from cutting edge chip. It’s enough to qualify the 690 as an acceptable chip for Vista Ultimate and the advanced Aero interface.

AMD expects the 690 will be ideal for some of the more advanced embedded markets, such as point-of-sale systems, digital signs and medical systems. It uses the Hypertransport interface, the same one AMD uses in its processors, allowing it to move data around very fast.

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