'Eee PC desktop' from Asus to feature AMD processors?

Asus chose Intel processors for its Eee PC low-cost sub-notebooks, but the Taiwanese firm may opt for chip offerings from both AMD and Intel for the Eee's upcoming desktop twin. According to DigiTimes, word around Taiwan's computer industry is that Asus has placed a "large order" for low-end AMD Sempron processors. Current Sempron models start at just $37 for a 1.9GHz, single-core part with 256KB of L2 cache and a 45W thermal envelope, so they're certainly suitable candidates for low-cost desktops.

The forthcoming desktop Eee is known as the E-DT, and we first heard about it in January. Back then, we learned that Asus planned to release the machine in April or May with an Intel Celeron processor, no monitor, and a price tag ranging from $200 to $300. Future iterations of the E-DT are expected to be based on Intel's Shelton'08 low-cost platform, which will include new 45nm "Diamondville" processors and a 945GC chipset.

Despite rumors of Asus' large AMD order, DigiTimes says some of its sources are dubious that Asus would shed the Eee family's Intel exclusivity for the E-DT. Those sources claim that AMD lacks a low-cost platform, which would force Asus to hunt for components from third parties like VIA or SiS. That said, AMD does have a low-end integrated graphics chipset—the 690G—and motherboards based on it start at only $55. With AMD's next-gen RS780 integrated graphics chipset on its way, 690G prices may drop further just in time for the E-DT launch.

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