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AMD to pension off Geode low-power CPU: competition for Atom diminishes

by Tarinder Sandhu on 28 January 2009, 09:29


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Remember AMD's Geode chip? No? Geode was the company's low-power chip found in the XO laptop and thin-client machines. It battled against a raft of ARM, VIA, and XScale processors, and was presented as a system-on-a-chip solution, with embedded graphics and memory.

Geode, split into GX, LX and NX variants, serviced the 0.9W-5W area, but, now, AMD says that it won't be launching a successor to Geode LX, the mainstream part, anytime soon. Rather, it will be focussing its efforts on introducing a lower-power Neo processor, which is a part of the current Yukon mobile platform.

Thinking about it further, AMD cannot fight too many battles currently, appreciating the financial straits that it's in, and ending the life of Geode is, perhaps, a wise move. It would have continued to find it difficult against newer offerings from low-power (SoC) experts such as ARM, and Intel's very own Atom CPU has stolen much of the thunder in the thin client/netbook space.

What's worrying, however, is AMD's plans to fight in the burgeoning netbook market, especially the cheap-and-cheerful low end, where Atom takes most of the design wins. What it needs is an x86-based CPU, with reasonable grunt, which is insanely cheap to produce, and has a power-efficient chipset in support. Neo, whilst good enough for larger laptops, doesn't quite fit the sub-1kg netbook criteria.

HEXUS Forums :: 2 Comments

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Geode's not even in the same league as Atom really - anything which Via C7 makes look sluggish is only useful for embedded apps
I'm guessing that Atom is more of a high-volume but low-profit per unit chip, something that AMD really doesn't need to start trying to fight Intel over. Intel has always had much more manufacturing volume and can afford to produce Atom-like chips whilst AMD needs to be trying to squeak out as much profit per silicon wafer as possible, something that's more likely with Phenom II than it is with Geode.