AMD-powered ultrabooks could debut next year

So far, Intel has an absolute monopoly on the ultrabook market. (You can even find the company’s chips inside the MacBook Air, from which many ultrabook makers seem to draw inspiration.) That stranglehold may loosen next year, though. A report by The Australian says AMD’s Australian arm "could unveil its first ‘Ultrathin’ line of notebooks in January"—and if that happens down under, chances are it’ll happen up here in North America, too.

The site quotes Brian Slattery, AMD’s Country Manager for Australia and New Zealand, as saying AMD has been negotiating with "several manufacturers," and the position of one of those "was particularly advanced." Slattery noted that AMD is giving hardware makers more freedom to determine the design and internal configuration of their ultrathin notebooks than Intel. He went on to tout the benefits of AMD’s Radeon integrated graphics, though he stopped short of saying exactly what kind of chips will power these AMD ultrathins.

SemiAccurate reported last month that Apple originally intended to put an A-series AMD APU inside its latest MacBook Air, but supply and yield issues forced the Mac maker to go the Intel route. If that report was accurate, and yields have improved, perhaps AMD is in a position to supply low-voltage Llano chips to ultrabook makers. I believe that would be AMD’s best bet, since the company’s low-power E-series APUs are too slow to keep up with the Sandy Bridge chips inside today’s ultrabooks. (Thanks to Lilliputing for the tip.)

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    • Martian
    • 8 years ago

    • Martian
    • 8 years ago

    The poor yields of Llano are caused by chip-design, they are not going to waste time and money to create another stepping when Trinity is actually done and waiting for production.

      • NeelyCam
      • 8 years ago

      [quote<]The poor yields of Llano are caused by chip-design[/quote<] Do you have a link to an article showing this? Or do you have inside information? Either way, please elaborate..?

    • Voldenuit
    • 8 years ago

    Looks like Ultrabook™ has become a generic term to join the ranks of Xerox, Tupperware, Thermos and Aspirin.

    Can ‘Ultrathin’ even be registered as a trademark? Doesn’t a trademark have to be distinctive to pass registration? ‘Ultrathin’ is a pretty descriptive term; it’s like someone trying to register ‘Computer’ or ‘Portable’ as a trademark -_-.

    On the technical side of things, I guess we’ll have to see. No doubt Trinity will provide a better IGP than SB or IB, but I don’t know how much performance AMD can squeeze out of the BD architecture with Piledriver, nor, as others have pointed out, what sacrifices AMD will have to make to hit comparable TDP envelopes to mobile SB and IB chips.

      • atryus28
      • 8 years ago

      Hey the all original super creative Steve Jobs found a way to trademark the iPhone, which was first used in Johnny Mnemonic.

      The Thompson iPhone.

      [url<]http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0113481/quotes[/url<]

    • Arclight
    • 8 years ago

    An AMD Ultrabook will be launched next year? Can i hate on it starting from this year?

      • NeelyCam
      • 8 years ago

      Yes. In fact, Santa might reward you for doing that.

        • Arclight
        • 8 years ago

        [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/9986233@N02/6482361259/<][img]http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7021/6482361259_51e232eb52.jpg[/img][/url<]

      • shank15217
      • 8 years ago

      Just make sure you turn the res down to CGA on your Intel ultrabook when you play BF3.

        • Arclight
        • 8 years ago

        I have a Phenom II powered desktop and a GTX 560 Ti, i really don’t have to turn any res. down. I just posted the above comment in disgust to AMD’s latest architecture which, although very hyped, failed to satisfy anyone.

        • NeelyCam
        • 8 years ago

        Once we find out how ‘good’ the 17W Trinity GPU will be, this comment might come back to haunt you

    • chuckula
    • 8 years ago

    If this is an E-series APU slapped in a thin form factor then it is just a gussied up netbook and not all that interesting. If it is a Trinity APU slapped in a thin form factor then it might be interesting.

    I’ve heard all of the rumors about AMD being used in the Macbook Air, but besides GloFo’s inability to produce enough Llanos, there’s another wrinkle. This Llano chip that would have powered the hypothetical Macbook Air is not presently listed in AMD’s inventory at all. There are no Llanos that meet the TDP requirements of the Macbook Air or other Ultrabooks.

    So the question is: Will AMD come out with a massively cut-down Llano that will likely give up much of the GPU performance advantage, or will there be a version of Trinity that actually has good GPU + low power?

    Edit: Looking at the mods of this thread it’s absolutely hilarious how touchy some AMD fans are. I make a post that includes several known facts and speculation that by no means put AMD in a bad light, but I get multiple downvotes. I’m pretty sure that I could re-post John Fruehe blogs and still have the AMD squad accuse me of being a paid Intel shill or something…

      • khands
      • 8 years ago

      Trinity is supposed to hit 17W at one configuration or another, slap an SSD in there and a thin chassis and you’ve got yourself an “ultrathin”.

        • NeelyCam
        • 8 years ago

        ..and how much performance will they have to sacrifice to get to 17W?

        Can it compete with a tri-gate Ivy Bridge? My guess is “no”.

          • khands
          • 8 years ago

          Agreed, especially given its base design, but they’re going for it anyways. My guess is the IGP will be neutered to hell and it’ll be a 1-module part but we shall see how it works out when it gets here.

          • cegras
          • 8 years ago

          [quote<]Can it compete with a tri-gate Ivy Bridge?[/quote<] You forgot TM, (c), and (r) after tri-gate.

          • Malphas
          • 8 years ago

          Who cares? What are you going to be doing on an 11 or 13 inch laptop that’s going to need a beefy CPU? You’re going to be using it to run a web browser 90% of the time, and basically any CPU will do for that. Things like having an SSD, good quality screen and keyboard, aluminium chassis, etc. are all more important than how powerful the processor is.

            • ronch
            • 8 years ago

            Yeah. I foresee Ultrathins will appeal mostly to Starbucks folks. Those people wouldn’t give a crap whether they have an FX or an E-350 under the hood as long as the thing comes with enough bling.

            • helboy
            • 8 years ago

            exactly.cudnt agree more….

            • NeelyCam
            • 8 years ago

            Aluminum chassis? Why is that more important than the processor? Are you an Apple fan, by any chance?

            Keyboard is pretty important, and SSD certainly makes things fly faster, but I think processor performance and battery life are pretty damn important, too. If performance didn’t matter, everyone would be happy with Atom… and that’s clearly not the case.

            This is why Trinity won’t be able to compete with Ivy Bridge. It’ll be too crippled after being shoehorned into 17W that IB will be able to offer significantly higher CPU performance, possibly better GPU performance and probably better battery life.

      • ronch
      • 8 years ago

      [quote<]but besides GloFo's inability to produce enough Llanos,[/quote<] Not just unable to produce enough of it, but it seems the top speed bins are pretty hard to find as well. A8-3850 and FX-8150 are pretty rare, often not being in stock or not even listed at all. As it is, I expect AMD's Ultrathin lineup to be composed mostly of A4 and A6 chips. Those things probably exist in good quantity and are less likely to miff OEMs due to constrained supply.

      • shank15217
      • 8 years ago

      If AMD is able to actually execute on their ultrabook plan they will take away a massive chunk of market from Intel, even with a 30-40% slower processor because AMDs gpu is gonna run circles around anything Intel will have for the next two generations. A CPU bound application with take a longer time to finish a task, a GPU bound game wont be playable on an ultrabook. If Llano made an impact in the notebook market, Trinity will make a bigger impact in the ultrabook market.

    • flip-mode
    • 8 years ago

    Meh. Krogoth is not impressed. Wake Krogoth when, er, just don’t wake Krogoth.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 8 years ago

      Hey, where’s Krogoth?

        • chuckula
        • 8 years ago

        What have you done with the real Krogoth!!?!?!?!?eleven!1!

        • LocalCitizen
        • 8 years ago

        will the real Krogoth please stand up, please stand up, please stand up

        • 5150
        • 8 years ago

        Butthurt from the poll a few weeks back?

        • mnecaise
        • 8 years ago

        He’s active in the forum.

    • ImSpartacus
    • 8 years ago

    An “Ultrabook” is a thin and light that uses Intel processors (among other requirements). Intel owns the name “Ultrabook.”

    I think the Macbook Air could be considered an ultrabook and, of course, ASUS’s Zenbooks & Co. are all Ultrabooks, but AMD processors cannot power Ultrabooks by definition.

    Yes, it’s nit picky, but it’s also correct.

      • IYagami
      • 8 years ago

      What I want is an HP dm1-z…. with a backlit keyboard. I would gladly pay 30 EUR more for that option

      • khands
      • 8 years ago

      Which is why AMD’s are called Ultra[i<]thin[/i<]s no?

      • yogibbear
      • 8 years ago

      Ultrapricky

      • Malphas
      • 8 years ago

      For now, and only barely. “Ultrabook” is pretty much guaranteed to become a genericised trademark though, considering people are already using it as such, and many people don’t even realise it’s an Intel platform (like Centrino) rather than just another category term like “netbook”.

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