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AMD aims at Ultrabook with Deccan, Kerala

HardwareNews
, 25 Oct 2011News

Intel's Ultrabook concept has yet to prove itself at retail, but that's not stopping rival AMD from coming up with a little competition of its own: Deccan and Kerala.

The Ultrabook concept - ultra-slim yet high-performance laptops, like the Asus ZenBook UX series, built to Intel specs with Intel chips - aims to bring the popularity of the MacBook Air to the 'Wintel' platform. But with those products yet to launch, there are so far no sales to back up Intel's hopes for the project.

With a mere 10 per cent of the global laptop market, AMD is watching events closely and has its own low-power high-performance parts in the wings if the Ultrabook concept takes off: Deccan.

Due to launch next year, the Deccan platform - comprised of Krishna and Wichita APUs which combine CPU and GPU into a single die - will give manufacturers an alternative to Intel's Ultrabook design for ultra-slim laptop use.

That could be a smart move on AMD's part: OEMs and ODMs have already started grumbling about the price of the low-power Core i5 and Core i7 chips at the heart of the Ultrabook platform, and if AMD can offer something of roughly equivalent performance for a lower price it will likely find a receptive audience.

According to industry rumour mill DigiTimes, Deccan will launch in June 2012 as a competitor to Intel's Ivy Bridge, with its successor Kerala due some time in 2013 as the answer to Intel's Haswell.

An anonymous source from a major laptop makers has suggested to thinq_ that the reason for certain manufacturers - including the source's own - shying away from branding their devices as official Ultrabooks is specifically to leave the possibility of a swap-out to AMD chips.

With AMD's latest product, the desktop-oriented Bulldozer APU, struggling to hold its own against Intel's Sandy Bridge Core i7 series - despite a significantly higher power draw - the company will be hoping that 2012 proves a better year.

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