back to article AMD confirms 'Atom-smasher' chip on its roadmap

AMD will unfold its plan to take on Intel's Atom in November, newly promoted CEO Dirk Meyer said last night. As Register Hardware has reported in the past, AMD's is currently working on a chip codenamed 'Bobcat', a single-core, 64-bit processor designed for low-cost laptops and Small, Cheap Computers. Past leaks have …


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  1. andy rock

    Why wait?

    bloody good point. AMD should be leaping on this to grab (some, any) market share back from 'zilla.

  2. Nigel
    Thumb Up

    Integrate the graphics?

    AMD were talking CPU and GPU integrated on one chip. Wouldn't a small cheap computer chip be a good place to start?

    And they should call it Neutron. One of the things you get when you smash atoms. (Proton is of course already taken by a Malaysian car manufacturer). Neutrino sounds even better but it might be asking for a lawsuit from Intel!

  3. Anonymous Coward

    "Small, Cheap Computers" sheesh

    Whatever happened to "laptots"?

  4. Anonymous Coward


    I'll asume thats a typo....

    Anyway I prefer flaptop...

  5. TeeCee Gold badge
    Black Helicopters

    Re: sheesh

    Great! That's made the "extreme porn" seeking webcrawler sit up and take notice.

  6. Luther Blissett

    Ricordatevi di un centrino (o due)

    > Intel calls them "netbooks" and "nettops"

    Ha, that's what you think. Knowing Otellini's wicked sense of humour, they are actually going to be called "net-curtains" - in Italian, so nobody notices except AMD's marketing dept.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @I'll asume thats a typo....

    No it's not... go back and look at the recent articles on the site and you'll see that someone came up with the term and, quite frankly, it it's not an official El Reg measurement by now, it damn well should be.

  8. jeanl
    Thumb Up

    waste of iinvestment resources

    waste of resources and investment. Why not focus on smaller die mobile duo core run at 1.0 ghz neighbor with mere 1.5 W power? Obviously AMD lack of creative telented people other than bunch of smart techno thieves follow what it competitor did and steal the ideal from it. Like batch of leeches. Only once in awhile came up with something better probably by accident. Acquired ATI wouldn't make any differences, because such corporate disease will only spread into ATI core instead ATI creative spirit to cure them.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    AMD already have such a chip

    The AMD Geode LX800 isn't all too far off from this spec. It consumes 0.9 W and though it is clocked at 500 MHz, it performs as well as a PIII @ 800MHz. It's also got all the bus, memory, disk and video controllers on-chip. Some ultra-small desktops are using it already. Other than that it is used for micro-servers. Maybe the Bobcat chip is just a Geode LX800 on steroids.

  10. Terry Blay

    @ waste of iinvestment resources

    What the fsck are you on, boy, I want some.

    AMD came from nowhere to whooping Intel's ass a few years ago with clever designs. While Intel kept on upping the GHz, AMD were coming up with novel ideas to make faster chips in different ways.

    Intel make the better chips now, IMHO, but only just, and only because they realised that AMD designs were better and changed their tactics. They have the money to do this.

    'Obviously AMD lack of creative telented people other than bunch of smart techno thieves follow what it competitor did and steal the ideal from it.'

    .... you are deluded hombre.

  11. Nexox Enigma


    """Why not focus on smaller die mobile duo core run at 1.0 ghz neighbor with mere 1.5 W power?"""

    Why don't we all just focus on 64 core mobile, small die chips that run 30GHz at 16 pico watts? Sounds better than the imaginary chip that you're on about.

    And those Geode chips are kinda large, although they don't even require a heatsink, which is pretty excellent.

    And I seriously don't see the point of a dual core on a umpc - waste that die space on cache, performance optimizations, or a memory controller.

  12. Doug Glass

    @@ waste of iinvestment resources

    Yep, that they the past. But the race didn't end once they got to the "top", they just acted like it did.

    AMD is in the same death spiral as the makers of typewriters and mechanical watches once were. You have to keep up the good work. That's especially true in a world that reinvents itself every eighteen months....or less.

    If you look at AMD's recent financial statements, and factor in a recent $980M charge-off, I think it hardly delusional to believe they are in serious trouble. And strange as it may seem, it's the people who drive the business who are responsible for that. A rose by any other name is still a rose. So whether you call those in charge techno thieves, babbling idiots, or simply misguided individuals, the result is the same. And one thing is painfully clear, the chips themselves didn't cause the problem. Discounting natural disasters, business problems are caused by people and the decisions they make.

    But it's good AMD has a cheerleader, they need it. Maybe you'd like to offer them the wisdom of the experience behind you comments. Surely you have some measure of expertise in the area in which you so strongly defend them.

  13. Matt Aldred

    27mm² ???

    Wow have they invented some new miniaturising technology?!? 812 terminals squeezed into a 5.2mm*5.2mm package? Genius! Especially when 100 terminals just fits into 9*9mm.

    On the other hand... maybe it's a typo... oh well...

    Mine's the one with 'pedantic' written on the back.

  14. Jamie
    Thumb Down

    Reversed engineered crap

    AMD chips dont last very long. Look at their warranty period. Intels give you ridiculously long warranty cos they know their cips wont blow up on you at the last minute without any reason at all. AMD can't build reliable chips they never have and they never will. I have not once owned a chip that hasnt blown up at some point or another. I think this is a total waste of time. sorry guys Intel all the way for me

  15. The Mighty Spang

    64 bit?

    thats a waste of 32 bits IMHO for a cheap mini laptop chip. im not even running 64 bit here doing my video renders and bits of animation, so why build it into a portable chip?

  16. Charles Manning

    ... or use an ARM

    Sub watt and no {point of compass} bridge required.

    Get rid of poxy x86 and see how small/light/cheap mobile hardware can be.

  17. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    If AMD had anything ready I expect they'd be leaking it now.

    AMD has to big-up the future because Atom has caught it short and AMD's recent server chip woes have made a dent in AMD's image as a smaller, smarter and more agile competitior to Intel. If AMD really did have something new in the pipeline I'd expect them to be leaking as much info as they could to try and boost their share price seeing as their recent market news hasn't been stellar. If there isn't much soon then I expect the "new" Atom-smasher will just be a Geode refresh. Maybe it's the distraction of absorbing ATi but AMD seem to be struggling to keep pace with Intel at the moment.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Matt Bryant

    what's wrong with a Geode upgrade? I'll take a Geode over any Intel chip anytime. We've been using them since before AMD acquired the designs from National Semiconductor and we have only had positive experiences with them. Power/performance ratio is excellent and price/performance is excellent, too.

  19. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    RE: @ Matt Bryant

    The problem is AMD need to fight the Intel marketing machine, and so they are talking up their "secret Atom-smasher" like it's the second coming. If they get round to launch and just release a Geode refresh - even if it matches Atom for performance and beats it on power, which it should - every one will say "so what's so special about that?" The problem is not a technical one, it's an image one - AMD need to not just keep up but get back ahead in order to rebuild their rep. A Geode with built-in ATi graphics would be a good start, delivered on time and without a mess of bugs, please.

  20. andy rock


    "AMD can't build reliable chips they never have and they never will."

    hmmm, i have a few of them. i've also built machines for people three or four years ago and they work just as well now as they did then. all on AMD. not that i'm fanboying AMD, though. just they were a cheaper alternative. i have a couple of old P4's that are still going from about the same period.

    sorry, mate; all you got is an opinion. unless you have any references of studies to back that claim up?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Andy Rock, the silly bugger

    "AMD can't build reliable chips they never have and they never will."

    What kind of stuff are you smoking pal? Are you talking out of your buttocks for lack of a brain?

    AMD chips are actually more reliable than Intel chips when you look at the whole system because they consume less power and generate less heat, which means other components of the system are less likely to fail, for example capacitors won't be as likely to cook and fail.

    I work for a company which built several thousand embedded micro servers with AMD Geode chips over the years and we had used Celeron and Via chips before that. Guess what, hardware failure rates have dropped by a factor of 4 when we switched from Celeron to Via and again it dropped by a factor of over 10 when we switched to AMD Geodes. Most of these system failures were related to heat in one way or another. Due to the low wattage and heat dissipation of the AMD Geode chips all those problems have virtually disappeared. So far, the return rate on the AMD based system boards is smaller than 2 in 1000 units. From our stats, AMD Geode based system boards are almost 50 times more reliable than Intel Celeron based ones. I wouldn't be surprised if there is a similar relation between wattage, heat and system failures on high power desktops and servers as well.

    Anyway, your statement is total rubbish without any basis whatsoever.

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