AMD's Yokohama Centrino to surface in Q4?

Chicago (IL) - AMD may be closer to a Centrino competitor than many may have expected. According to a media report, AMD and ATI may be introducing a notebook platform, code-named "Yokohama," in the fourth quarter of this year to compete with Intel's recently launched Napa64 platform, which includes the Core 2 Duo processor.

The report, published by DigiTimes, claims that Yokohama will be based on AMD's Turion 64 X2 processors and the future ATI chipsets RS690M, RS690DC and RS790M. However, it appears that Yokohama may only be a first step towards a complete platform, as the two companies may not be able to integrate their own wireless chipset, but rather have to rely on WLAN devices from Broadcom, Atheros Communications or Airgo Networks.

DigiTimes' sources indicated that Yokohama will be aiming for Intel's current Napa64 platform. Napa64 essentially is a 64-bit version of the preceding 32-bit "Napa" chipset that was launched with the Core Duo processor in January of this year. Apart from its 64-bit advantage, AMD's Turion 64 X2 processor isn't quite a match yet for Intel's Core Duo processor in terms of overall performance, according to a recent test conducted by Tom's Hardware. Considering the fact that the just launched Core 2 Duo with "Merom" core trumps Core Duo in speed and power consumption, the gap is likely to increase even more.

And Intel has even more in its hand to keep the distance to AMD. In Q1 or Q2 of 2007, Intel will launch "Santa Rosa," the successor of Napa64, which will bring a series of performance enhancements, such as an increase in bus speed (667 to 800 MHz), support of flash cache as well as an improved wireless chipset - which possibly will include WWAN (EV-DO and HSDPA). As of now, it appears that AMD is trailing Intel's development and production state significantly, but the acquisition of ATI may have come just in time to avoid losing even more ground.

Yokohama will be the first product that will enable analysts, journalists and customers to get an idea where AMD's mobile products stand and in which direction they will go.

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AMD acquires ATI for $5.4 billion