AMD launches low-power processor for handhelds
By Sumner Lemon
(IDG) -- Breaking into the market for processors used in handheld computing devices, Advanced Micro Devices has begun sampling its Alchemy Au1100 processor, a low-power chip designed to be used in mobile and handheld devices.
The Au1100 is a follow-on chip to the Au1000 processor that AMD acquired when it bought Alchemy Semiconductor in February, an acquisition seen by analysts as an important step for the Sunnyvale, California company to break out of its traditional focus on desktop and mobile PC processors into the market for embedded processors used in handheld devices, such as PDAs.
Able to run at speeds ranging from 333 MHz to 500 MHz, the Au1100 includes a MIPS32 processor core, an on-chip LCD controller, a 10/100 Ethernet controller, and a USB device and host controller.
The processor is able to run a variety of operating systems commonly found on handheld devices, including Microsoft's Windows CE, Linux, and Wind River Systems' VxWorks, AMD says.
The 400-MHz version of the chip is priced at $29.50 in quantities of 10,000.
The market for embedded processors, particularly for those used in mobile computing devices, has heated up in recent months. AMD arch-rival Intel has been particularly aggressive, pushing its ARM-based XScale line of embedded processors.
Both Intel and AMD see great potential in the market for low-power, high-performance chips used in handheld computing devices. Citing analyst estimates, AMD expects this market to reach $26 billion with 1.3 billion units shipped by 2007.
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Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
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