AMD's Fusion to define Netbook offerings?

Chipmaker's strategy to fuse processor and graphics chips by 2009 "has characteristics" that fit requirements of ultraportables, says a Singapore-based executive.

SINGAPORE--Advanced Micro Devices' Fusion architecture could define its products for the ultraportable PC market, judging from the chipmaker's technology transition.

In an interview Wednesday with ZDNet Asia, Tan See Ghee, AMD's technology director for South Asia, pointed out that the Fusion strategy "has characteristics" that suit the requirements of lightweight, small-form factor notebooks. AMD defines the ultraportable notebook category as consisting of 10- to 12-inch devices that weigh under 4 pounds.

Tan was speaking on the sidelines of an event in the island-state to launch AMD's Puma platform, which was showcased at the Computex event in Taipei last month.

Puma, noted Tan, was AMD's first step at improving the power efficiency of processors for the mobile platform. Fusion, due in 2009, will represent "what the next Puma will be like", with greater power management and integration from fusing the CPU and graphics processor.

"From these technology transitions, AMD is moving toward creating more and more energy-friendly products, and these will be the ideal future targets for a notebook in the ultraportable space," said Tan.

AMD is said to be preparing a low-power chip to counter Intel's Atom processor.

Tan pointed out, however, that AMD's focus in the notebook space remains for now in standard form factors, which it classifies as "desktop replacement" and "thin and light". Products to address the ultraportable market will be in AMD's future roadmap, but Tan was unable to provide more details.

Puma races to Asia
Puma-based systems are already shipping and will be available in Asia from early next week, David Tan, business director of personal systems group at Hewlett-Packard Singapore, said Wednesday at the AMD Puma launch event.

HP and Acer will be the first vendors in Singapore to roll out the Puma-based notebooks. HP will offer three machines while Acer will launch two models.

ZDNet Asia understands that if there are no logistical delays, other vendors too will soon be shipping Puma-based systems in the various Asian markets.