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Rumor: Is AMD sacking 'Bobcat' project?

Posted: 26 Sep 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:AMD Bobcat? UMPC market? Intel Atom? processor?

Reports have surfaced that Advanced Micro Devices Inc. has terminated its "Bobcat" processor project, which is expected to compete with Intel Corp.'s Atom.

Intel's Atom processor is geared for the ultramobile PC market. AMD denied the rumors that it is dropping what some call the Atom smasher project, but analysts are hearing rumblings on the grapevine.

"There are reports that AMD has decided to cancel its Bobcat project, which if true, we would view positively. Recall that Bobcat was aimed at competing with the Atom and targeted mainly for low power applications," said Avi Cohen, managing partner at Avian Securities LLC, in a report.

"We had always insisted that AMD would be stretched too thin and can ill afford to continue development of Bobcat given its struggling financial situation and limited resources," he said. "Assuming that it's able to offer a product, we have a hard time imagining how AMD would be able to compete effectively not only with Intel which is spending heavily on marketing the Atom, but also a slew of well entrenched ARM-based processors that are widely used in other portable applications like handsets, PND (personal navigation device) and gaming."

AMD dismissed the rumors. "Bobcat remains under development as an important future core for AMD. Beyond that, AMD can't offer more details at present," according to a spokesman for AMD.

Meanwhile, Intel has started shipping dual-core Atom processors, which are designed for mini-notebooks, the so-called "netbook" category. Designated the Atom 330, the latest member of Intel's smallest line of X86-derived CPUs features a 1.6GHz processing core, 1Mbyte of Level 2 cache and consumes a maximum of 8W of power.

Via, Nvidia and Qualcomm are also selling processors aimed for the ultramobile market.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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