AMD Announces Neo Platform To Compete With Atom

Posted by Daniel Shain

AMD has released a new platform for ultrathin notebooks (not netbooks, which they are eschewing, and we’re not even allowed to say that word anyway) today, which should offer improved graphics performance and battery life.

Previously codenamed “Yukon,” AMD has talked about this before, but Athlon Neo is the official name and it is officially here. The new platform incorporates a 1.6GHz Athlon Neo processor and ATI Radeon X1250 integrated graphics, with ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3410 discrete graphics as an option.

From the press release: “Before today, there was a compromise associated with selecting a highly portable notebook, forcing consumers to choose either the full PC experience of an ultraportable at a high price or the limited PC experience of a mininotebook at a low price,” said Chris Cloran, corporate vice president, client division, AMD. “In introducing the AMD ultrathin notebook platform, AMD enables balanced PC performance, including the option of advanced graphics and video for true HD entertainment, all in an affordable, ultrathin notebook, bringing consumers uncompromised mobility.”

The new chip will be able to work with full 1080p HD graphics and handle HDMI with just the integrated option. AMD’s partnership (read: ownership) with ATI makes them generally much more adept than Intel at handling graphics, and this platform was designed to showcase that. If you remember, they weren’t the only ones to notice Intel’s deficiency, as NVidia released Ion weeks ago.

The new Athlon Neo has been given the ultrathin HP Pavilion dv2 Entertainment Notebook PC as its flagship. The dv2 uses the Neo MV-40 processor with the ATI Mobility Radeon 3140 GPU. It has a 12.1″ (1280×800) LED backlit display with 802.11n, WWAN support, up to a 500GB HDD, HDMI, large keyboard and optional Blu-ray player. This $699 laptop is currently the only one using Neo, but unless it spontaneously combusts the thing you can expect to see wide adoption of this platform soon.