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AMD preps low-powered Atom killer?

Aug 22, 2008 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

[Revised, Aug. 25] — While Intel's Developer Forum hogged the limelight last week, AMD was shyly preparing to ship its own competitor to Intel's Atom. The AMD Sempron 200U and 210U will sample next month on a 3.5-inch SBC (single board computer), says Taiwanese manufacturer Ibase.

(Click here for a larger view of iBase's IB885, with Sempron 200U processor)

In similar fashion, AMD rival Intel announced a dual-core Atom chip via a customer's single-board computer introduction.

Despite its longtime association with power-sipping, low-cost x86 and MIPS-based CPUs, AMD has remained publicly aloof from the “nettop” and netbook fray. However, the blogosphere has been alive for several months with rumors of an AMD processor, reportedly code-named “Bobcat” and also referred to as the “K8 BGA” or Sempron BGA. The CPU was rumored to use AMD's Sempron core, clocked down to 1.0GHz or 1.5GHz, and offered in a 27mm x 27mm BGA (ball grid array) package for installation in low-cost devices.

As it turns out, the rumors were true — but confirmation comes not from AMD, but from Ibase. The Taiwanese motherboard manufacturer says it has employed the 1.0GHz Sempron 200U and 1.5GHz Sempron 210U on a new SBC, the IB885, which will sample next month and be available in quantity in October.

According to iBase, the Sempron 200U and 210U include an integrated memory controller, 128KB of L1 cache, 256KB of L2 cache, and an 800MHz HyperTransport link. The 1.0GHz 200U has an eight-Watt TDP and supports 400MHz DDR2 memory, while the 1.5GHz 210U has a fifteen-Watt TDP and supports 800MHz DDR2 RAM.

None of the above has yet been officially confirmed by AMD itself, despite several queries from LinuxDevices. If the rumors of a 27mm square footprint and 8 Watt TDP are true, the Sempron parts could be among the first to use AMD's 45nm process, heretofore reserved for quad-core Opterons. For a power consumption/performance comparison between the Atom and its other rival, Via's Nano, see our earlier coverage, here.

More details about iBase's IB885, can be found on our sister site, WindowsForDevices, here. According to Ibase, the IB885 will begin sampling in September. Pricing was not provided, however.

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