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AMD Sees Little Future in Ultrabooks

In speaking with X-bit labs, John Taylor, the director of client product marketing and software at AMD, indicated that Intel's ultrabook initiative won't be an imminent success. Despite its high expectations, the rival company will likely have a hard time competing in a mobile market dominated by Apple's super-slim and super-powerful MacBook series.

"We have to wait and see when the actual thing comes to market and when Windows 8 comes to market and how does the final product [ultrabook hardware and Windows 8 software] look like as a $1000/€1000 type device," he said. "And how will it compete against already successful Apple MacBook Air. [...] The $1000+/€1000+ PC market is completely dominated by Apple."

He also pointed out that many of the promised features in the upcoming ultrabook form factor are based on Windows 8. Eventually those seemingly exclusive features will migrate beyond ultrabooks and into mainstream systems.

"Windows 8 brings a number of capabilities that Intel would seem to be collecting under the banner of ultrabook," he added. "As well, there are a few things that they are doing with higher-end components that they are looking at that enable faster wake and sleep and this type of capabilities [in Windows 8]."

Obviously AMD isn't taking an ultrabook-like route to address the highly-responsive and highly-portable sub-$1000 laptop market. Instead, it's taking the silicon route.

"We have been on the market with our ultra-thin strategy for some time," he said. "We have always believed there was a sweet spot in the market: the extreme sort of portability with beautiful aesthetic and very thin designs. […] We have Llano silicon solution today that delivers as good or better battery life than Intel and better all around visual experience. […] The Brazos platform [for low-cost systems] has been a runaway success for AMD."

He wouldn't go into any specifics about the upcoming "Trinity" APU, only stating that it's a "step up" in x86 performance, graphics performance and in some areas around video.

"I don't want to get too specific about our 2012 roadmaps, but we have two different types of APUs that we can bring to that ultra-thin market as we move forward to their introduction next year," he said.

  • poxenium
    I have to agree with the idea that there's no bright future for ultrabooks. They have no extra features when compared to netbooks, just a bit more horsepower. I don't see why someone would need an expensive thin laptop without an optical drive and more importantly without a proper graphics processor. It looks good, OK, i see the point ... but it would look the same with a nice cheap Atom processor or AMD APU too.
  • billybobser
    Title is slightly misleading.

    Sounds like AMD do want to add performance to a thin form factor, they want to price it in a large audience however.

    Though my opinion on this is, if you want a highly portable laptop, the best you're gonna want is internet/word processing.

    If you want to do graphic design/gaming, you're going to have to forgoe the slimline and battery life approach, and will most likely need to be plugged in (ugly adapter!)

    Currently, without using a discreet gfx card (obviously chews up space), AMD have the lead graphically with Llano chips.

    One last thing, gaming and apple, lul.
  • ZEPd3Z
    Maybe they should look into a standard laptop form factor (ATX, mATX etc...) like the on desktops and also Upgradable Mobo, CPU, GPU. Now that would be nice. :D
  • tanjo
    Shut up and
  • rjandric
    Let's face it, people buy things that look good. This is why Apple wins, no ugly plastic (think Qosmio) but polished aluminum. I still haven't seen anything from PC side that matches the looks of Apple laptops except short lived Dell Adamo. as for workstation, at work i deal with Mac Pros, Dell Precisions and Lenovo professional workstations. Apple beats them hands down in every aspect but the video card.
  • Thunderfox
    Bitter grapes. They can't make anything small enough to put in an ultrabook, and they won't be able to for a while yet.

    The ultrabook should hopefully prove whether or not tablets and paper thin computers are exclusively Apple phenomena. If these sorts of things are going to stick around, then kudos to Intel for giving Apple competition. The last thing we need is for Apple to be the sole provider for any market segment.
  • southernshark
    AMD has given up on the high end, and unfortunately for them the low end is going ARM. While I've been a long term AMD fanboy and am currently running a 6 core Phenom II as my main computer, I have to wonder if this company is actually going to make it, given its inability to compete at the high end, and with ARM eating the low end market share.
  • acadia11
    windows 8 tablet, why the heck would I need an ultrabook at all?
  • saturnus
    AMD does right in foregoing the ultrabook concept. It has very little potential as a market since the vast majority the notebook market is in the corporate sales chain, and there what is requested are generally thinner clients, ie. less processing power but longer battery life.
  • vaughn2k
    Stop blabbering... where's the bulldozer?!?!