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[May 18, 2006]
AMD ships the first 64-bit, dual-core mobile chip; Intel's answer won't be long in coming.
(www.internetnews.com Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)
AMD has made its biggest gains making chips for servers and consumer desktops but that doesn't mean it's given up on the mobile sector.
Far from it.
The Sunnyvale, Calif., chipmaker said it's now shipping its AMD Turion 64 X2 chips, the first 64-bit, dual-core processors for thin and light notebook computers.
PC makers Acer, Fujitsu-Siemens, Gateway and HP said they will ship notebooks based on the new X2 mobile processors this quarter.
The release beats Intel by several months. Intel, which has already shipped Core 2 Duo dual-core chips with 32-bit architecture, plans to release its first "Core 2 Duo" mobile chips this summer.
But analysts think that while AMD's launch is a crucial chess move for keeping the No. 2 chipmaker in the mobile game with Intel, they doubt the signifcance of 64-bit architecture for notebooks.
"No one really needs 64-bit now and Intel beat AMD to market with dual-core for mobile," Insight64 analyst Nathan Brookwood told internetnews.com .
Brookwood said notebook "power users" we'll have some interest in 64-bit capabilities, particularly if they're likely to require more than 2 gigabytes of memory when Microsoft's Vista operating system becomes broadly available next year.
But until Intel releases its competing processor, AMD lays claim to having the only mobile processor optimized for 64-bit versions of Vista when it becomes available.
"I wouldn't be surprised to see Intel speed up its release dates based on what AMD is doing," Roger Kay, analyst with Endpoint Technologies Associates, told internetnews.com .
"The challenge for AMD is how well they do in the commercial space where Centrino has been very dominant."
Kay agreed that the 64-bit trait of the Turion X2 is not as important as architectural features such as dual-core and energy and power savings.
Both AMD and Intel have improved the energy efficiency in their latest processors.
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