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

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

“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.”

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