Given the rampant success of Intel’s new Atom platform, it’s no surprise that AMD has come out with its own version of a low-powered, high performance (relatively speaking) device. Instead of developing a completely new technology and chip manufacturing system like Intel, AMD has gone to their aging K8 platform and brought back an Athlon64.
By taking the older Athlon64 and reworking it to be compatible with very low power, AMD has delivered a CPU that runs on just eight watts of power. When combined with one of AMD’s 780g or 790g chipsets, you have a strong graphics-capable platform that runs on less power and gets more done than Intel’s Atom desktop strategy.
Unfortunately for AMD, Intel’s Atom is already in many new netbooks and small form factor desktop machines. The Athlon64 2000+ will cost more to make and is physically larger, which will likely pose some problems for any MID or netbook manufacturers looking at an AMD-powered solution. The question remains whether AMD has a viable product that can compete with Intel (and, to a lesser extent, with Via) or if they’ve simply sat too long and fallen too far behind to make an effective comeback this generation.
Tom’s Hardware article on the new platform.