AMD eyes up MID market

AMD has so far been content to watch the ARM and Atom architectures clean up in the netbook and mobile Internet device (MID) markets, but AMD is now looking at making Fusion-based MID chips.

Tech site Xbit Labs recently sat down with several guys from AMD's developer relations team, during which they revealed that Fusion could be more than just a desktop CPU architecture.

When asked about the possibility of AMD producing chips for the MID market, the company's director of ISV relationship management, Neal Robison revealed that it was far from our of the question.

"Our Fusion APUs will eventually drive a wide assortment of devices," said Robison, "quite possibly including very small form factors such as MIDs, delivering great battery life as well as great gaming and multimedia experiences."

The latter would certainly distinguish a Fusion-based mobile chip from Intel's current line-up of Pineview Atom CPUs. With Pineview, Intel moved its integrated graphics core into the CPU, rather than the chipset, closing the door to chipset-based GPUs such as Nvidia's first generation Ion.

Now that Atom needs a separate Ion 2 GPU in order to get half-decent 3D and multimedia features, a Fusion chips that combines a CPU, chipset and GPU in one piece of silicon could be a tempting prospect to makers of small devices.

AMD would also be in the unique position of being the only company to be able to offer an x86 MID CPU with a proper GPU.