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AMD Campaigning Yukon as Intel Atom Alternative

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 25 comments

Right now, in terms of the netbook and nettop market, it’s Intel everywhere. AMD is now urging OEMs to think outside the Intel box.

AMD hoping to make its offerings more attractive to OEMsAMD hoping to make its offerings more attractive to OEMsAMD is campaigning to PC makers to consider using its Yukon platform before turning straight to Intel’s Atom when designing a low-cost, power efficient system.

While the Yukon at 25 W thermal design power does demand more juice than the Atom, but in return does provide appreciably more computational power, which AMD claims to deliver “a full PC experience,” -- one that’s obviously more multimedia-centric than the current batch of Atom-powered machines.

AMD representatives explained to Digitimes that systems built using the Yukon platform won’t be bound to any hardware or form factor restrictions -- which have been reported to be part of Intel’s Atom program. OEMs are free to make Yukon systems, including notebooks, with any panel size, expansion slots or memory capacities.

So far the AMD Yukon platform has found its way into the all-in-one BenQ nScreen i91. Sharing the same computer-in-an-LCD form factor as an iMac, the nScreen i91 features an 18.5-inch display, 1 GB RAM, 160 GB HDD and an ATI Radeon X1200 chipset.

Yukon will be in notebooks soon, perhaps first in the upcoming HP Pavilion dv2 -- a 12.1-inch notebook that’s less than an inch thick and 4 lbs heavy. It’s certainly not competing in the same physical space as the smaller Atom netbooks, but it’ll be another option for those looking at an ultra-portable.

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  • 0 Hide
    Master Exon , February 23, 2009 7:43 PM
    This is good news.
  • -2 Hide
    hairycat101 , February 23, 2009 8:09 PM
    m3kt3kAMD fails to understand using hot chicks wont work unless they actually put out. If both of those chicks would spend the night I MIGHT think about going back to using AMD chips. I dunno the Intel chicks were hot and DID put out.


    I might buy AMD if they just get up and shake their money makers for me... Then again, I might buy AMD CPU's anyways.
  • 4 Hide
    hellwig , February 23, 2009 8:18 PM
    Oof, does anyone remember the old IBM Cyrix girls, yikes!

    I think AMD bought into the Steve Jobs "no one wants netbooks" hype a little early, and now they're trying to get back in the game.

    I must have also missed something. Wasn't the problem with the Atom the fact that it used a really old and really inefficient chipset that consumed a lot of power. Did they resolve that for the mobile chipset they're now using? 25W for Yukon doesn't seem that bad.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , February 23, 2009 9:11 PM
    Netbooks are teh suck, SRSLY, the screen is too small, the keyboard suxx, and they're pathetically slow. AMD got it right, I'm probably getting one of these when they come out.
  • 2 Hide
    jaragon13 , February 23, 2009 9:18 PM
    NetbookHaterNetbooks are teh suck, SRSLY, the screen is too small, the keyboard suxx, and they're pathetically slow. AMD got it right, I'm probably getting one of these when they come out.

    Lol,maybe.

    If these are most popular in netbook form,they will only be competing with Nvidia's Ion platform - wouldn't Nvidia helping Intel be such a bitch,since all Intel does is whine at Nvidia,or what?
  • 1 Hide
    radguy , February 23, 2009 10:54 PM
    Netbooks are pretty kewl devices exspecialy considering the money. They run xp fine and there keyboards are slowly getting to be pretty good. Intels atom processor restictions have forced the netbook market to what it has become. The next best option to a netbook is the lenovos x61 but that costs at min 650 if you use the coupon. For 350 dollars you can get an msi wind u120. Why can't I get something in the middle for $500. AMD might be on to something
  • 1 Hide
    Area51 , February 23, 2009 11:07 PM
    How can you compare two products with such deferent TDP's? They are not the same class. I hope that someday AMD will have a comparable solution to Atom, but until then it's silly to position this solution against atom at this time.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , February 23, 2009 11:50 PM
    Area51: I believe that 25w TDP includes the chipset(25w is on par with their regular notebook chips for just the CPU), so if atom + chipset is using 15 to 20, then 25 isn't so bad. Atom is too slow for a laptop type device(like a netbook), but it would be great in a cellphone or PDA. You just can't do much with a netbook, after the novelty wears off, you realize that it's kind of lame, and you wish you could do more with it.
  • 3 Hide
    vider , February 23, 2009 11:59 PM
    According to the article on Slash Gear's web site, Atom 270 combined with the 945GE chip-set has a TDP of 8W (I doubt it, as the slide show comes from Intel). So a 25W is not really a good option for a netbook. But, I think that AMD might come with a chip that has a TDP as low as Atom and at the same time beat it in any category. I like the fact that AMD let the OEM's do what ever they want with the chip, this is the way to go, freedom.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , February 24, 2009 2:24 AM
    Actually the Intel atom processor consumes a mere 2 watts of power! The chip set consumes about 6 or 8 watts (cant remember). So 8 watts for the CPU + chip set sounds good.

    The thing about the atom is its really slow, its not suited for even mildly computation intensive tasks such as watching videos. Also, it doesn't even support the full set of instructions. Meaning programs developed with the newer instructions won't run on the Atom at all.

    Based on performance per watt the Atom is awesome, but with so little power, your money is better spent else where. I would recommend a 1.9 GHz or so AMD X2. AMD might not have the fastest processors at the highend, but they are an extreamly good choice for consumers on a budget (anything less then 1000$).
  • 1 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , February 24, 2009 8:50 AM
    hellwigWasn't the problem with the Atom the fact that it used a really old and really inefficient chipset that consumed a lot of power. Did they resolve that for the mobile chipset they're now using? 25W for Yukon doesn't seem that bad.


    From the Nvidia Ion review :
    "945GC’s TDP is 22.2 W, and the Atom 230 + 945GC + ICH7 platform has a TDP of 29.5 W." so I'd say 25W for a cpu alone might be a lot, cause even the ion chipset eats another 16W and might be the most effecient chipset available but still 25% more power hungry than an atom setup. (rumors say nvidia will make an ion for amd chips)
  • 1 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , February 24, 2009 2:03 PM
    From reading the press releases, I think I'd rather have a Congo than a Yukon. Dual-core, AND the mobile 780G/710 chipset combination.
  • 1 Hide
    zodiacfml , February 24, 2009 2:41 PM
    i don't think we should judge both systems too early, since TDP doesn't tell how much power they consume in idle or medium tasks.
  • 0 Hide
    bustapr , February 24, 2009 4:51 PM
    So amd trying to make things more attractive with hot chicks with AMD minis. That might actually work.
  • 2 Hide
    hellwig , February 24, 2009 4:54 PM
    neiroatopelccFrom the Nvidia Ion review : "945GC’s TDP is 22.2 W, and the Atom 230 + 945GC + ICH7 platform has a TDP of 29.5 W." so I'd say 25W for a cpu alone might be a lot, cause even the ion chipset eats another 16W and might be the most effecient chipset available but still 25% more power hungry than an atom setup. (rumors say nvidia will make an ion for amd chips)

    Yukon is actually the platform, that means a CPU + Chipset = Yukon = 25W. Therefore, I can't see why anyone would use an Atom/945GC combo when they can have Yukon or VIA Nano for the same consumption but more computing power.

    However, I think netbooks use the 945GSE, which consumes only 8W (unlike the 945GC's 22W). I guess this is where Atom beats the others in power.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 24, 2009 6:12 PM
    Give us the numbers
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , February 24, 2009 7:21 PM
    People are thinking/expecting a netbook = cheap notebook. For some folks all they want is a very light/portable notebook that can check email and do basic office work or even watch a DVD or play some music. You really do not need 1080P on a screen that is not even capable of that resolution or advanced CPU capabilities.

    I also am not going to be buying $50 FPS games to play on a $200-300 netbook. If you really want something to do this, buy a cheap notebook.

    The netbook was not designed as a jack of all trades device, yet people are trying to force it to be this. AMD is clearly trying to do this as they don't have a product designed into this segment so they are trying to force features into the segment where it has an advantage.

    The ultimate problem for AMD is that the 945chipset is not going to be around for very long and when Intel does put out the system on a chip solution, an underclocked K8 (and accompanying chipset) is simply not going to be competitive from a power perspective. AMD is targetting the competition against the current product and not thinking about the future product. Ultimately AMD will have to do their own SOC solution and won't be able to force in existing solutions into this market.
  • 0 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , February 24, 2009 7:35 PM
    cant rememberThe netbook was not designed as a jack of all trades device, yet people are trying to force it to be this. AMD is clearly trying to do this as they don't have a product designed into this segment so they are trying to force features into the segment where it has an advantage.

    Really? I thought AMD was focusing on "subnotebooks" and "Ultramobiles"? Even small form factor desktops?
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