Intel vs. AMD: Get ready for Round Three Pt II

Notebooks: The final say -- notebook PCs will be the last battle zone
Written by John G.Spooner, Contributor

Currently, except for a few models that use AMD's K6-2+, such as Hewlett-Packard's Pavilion notebook series, most notebooks use Intel Pentium IIIs or Celerons.

But AMD is planning to jump into the ring with Intel on this front, as well, with a planned unveiling this week of some new details on its mobile strategy.

In the second half of the year, AMD will offer mobile Athlon and mobile Duron processors.

The company is also set to announce that chipset makers Acer Labs and VIA Technologies will offer supporting chip sets for the mobile Athlon and Duron chips.

The new mobile chips will be based on AMD's forthcoming Mustang processor. The core, which supports up to 1MB of integrated Level 2 cache, will also yield desktop chips, workstation and server chips, and mobile chips.

Clock speeds will vary depending on the type of chip, but Mustang core-based Athlons for high-end desktops and servers are expected to debut at or close to 1.3GHz.

AMD disclosed for the first time at PC Expo last month that it plans to offer a mobile Duron chip along with its mobile Athlon. The differentiators between the two mobile chips are expected to be clock speed and cache sise, along with price.

Mobile Athlon chips, due to their mobile status, will come in at significantly lower clock speeds than their desktop cousins. Mobile Athlon chips are expected later this quarter at about 800MHz, while mobile Duron chips are expected at lower clock speeds, possibly 500MHz to 600MHz, sources said.

AMD's mobile Athlons will be based on a mobile version of the Mustang core, which now has its own code name: Corvette.

Analysts believe that at some point Intel and AMD will tire of this boxing match.

Mike Feibus, Mercury Research's principal analyst, believes the fighters will move into a "reserved co-existence".

Intel, in general, has to face the reality that it has a serious competitor (in AMD). A serious competitor is one that, in terms of product offerings, "can match it top to bottom," he said.

As for AMD's new mobile chips, Feibus said: "I think they should do reasonably well. AMD has been grabbing more and more of the consumer market [for notebooks] with the K6-2, and the K7 [a code name for Athlon] series will help them branch out and up."

Round Four, anyone?

Go back to Pt I/ Intel vs. AMD: Get ready for Round Three

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