Two components manufacturers have unveiled contradictory visions of the future of notebook use.
Last week AMD briefed CRN on its strategy for next generation notebook platforms. Its newest, Puma, comprises a chip set, graphics card and dual-core processor developed in response to how it anticipates consumers will use notebooks.
The chip maker said it anticipated that business users and consumers will use next generation notebooks to manage consumer digital media. “People will be using their notebooks to manage their iPods, edit photos and upload them to networking sites,” explained Ian MacNaughton, AMD’s senior manager for product platforms.
As notebook sales surpass desktop sales, we will change the way we use computers, he claimed. The emphasis will be less on raw processing power, which was the obsession among PC makers in the desktop market, and more on issues that affect mobile computer users.
In future, users will be keener to minimise power consumption. “People want more intense video experiences, but less power consumption and longer battery life. How do we do that? By designing discrete graphics, offering open ecosystems and better user experiences,” said MacNaughton.
AMD claimed that high definition video will be the minimum requirement for notebooks, and said the combination of AMD Turion X2 Ultra ZM-86 and its ATI Radeon HD3200 could perform five times better than its Intel equivalent a Core 2 Duo T8300 with an Intel GMA X3100.
The two other important fronts on which AMD aims to stimulate users are in gaming and mobile networking. AMD Game! to be launched in June will be about simplifying and enhancing the PC gaming experience. Meanwhile, as part of its ATI Mobility product set, AMD said it can enable notebooks to achieve 40 per cent faster data transfer on 3G and wireless networks.
However, some in the industry claim this is an unrealistic assumption of the
AMD could be missing a trick, said Simon Atkinson, chief executive of Mirics Semiconductor, which is creating chips and software that standardise TV reception on notebooks.
Building notebook platforms without planning for tuner chips and demodulating software could be a strategic error, said Atkinson. “TV has suddenly become a big requirement for the PC user,” he added.
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