TALKING TO Dodgytimes, AMD's CEO Dirk Meyer set a timeframe for the arrival of the Intel nemesis's Atom-smasher: "2010", he said.
AMD's new chip will target a form factor other than netbooks, Meyer indicated, though he wasn't more specific about what that might be. AMD is already on record as being uninterested in fighting for the netbooks market.
While it's true that the line between ultralight notebooks and feature-filled netbooks gets blurrier by the minute, it's not clear how AMD can challenge Intel's Atom without designing a chip for netbooks. However, Atom's biggest enemy is itself, thinks AMD.
Whatever small, low-power chip AMD ends up building, "samples are expected to be delivered to partners in 2010," Meyer said.
Currently AMD's chips for the notebook segment are built on Puma, which is soon to become the Tigris platform (Caspian dual-core CPU, 2MB L2 cache), Yukon (single core Neo), and Congo (dual-core Neo), which will all soon be supplemented by AMD's planned Atom-smasher chip, of which very little more is known.
Meyer took the time to say something else. He dissed ARM for having a "lack of software support". Well, if the world revolved around Microsoft Windows, that might be true, but ARM is notorious for powering all sorts of embedded applications environments and consumer electronics devices.
Whatever the case, AMD evidently believes its planned new CPU will surpass Atom with regards to both pricing and, hopefully, performance.
A sidenote in all this is that Meyer did mention that while AMD's current CPU manufacturing is in GloFo's able hands, things aren't carved in stone and other partners will be considered in the future. But somehow we doubt we'll ever see Global Foundries building Intel chips. µ