AMD not replacing Geode SoC: current generation likely to be last

Jan 27, 2009
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AMD not replacing Geode SoC: current generation likely to be last

The current range of Geode chips may be the final AMD develop, according to company spokesperson Phil Hughes, with AMD focusing on more mainstream chips rather than the ultra-low-power market.  Geode is a System-on-a-Chip (SoC) product, with an x86 processor core, a graphics core and other components on one single chip, with the latest Geode LX running at up to 600MHz and requiring between 0.9W and 5W.  It's used in the OLPC XO laptop, among other things, suggesting that the One-Laptop-Per-Child project may have to look elsewhere for the core of their replacement XO-2 notebook.

"There are no plans for a follow-on product to today's available AMD Geode LX products, but we expect to make this very successful processor available to customers as long as the market demands" Phil Hughes, spokesperson, AMD

According to industry experts, Geode's demise is inevitable because the chip, in its current form at least, is too old for further development.  A new generation of ultra-low-power chips would require significant R&D investment, something which neither the market nor AMD's current finances can support.

"We'll continue to sell the Geode line of products, but as far as are we going to be bringing out a new core microarchitecture specifically targeted at that space -- no, we won't be doing that. It's not a part of our future product road map. You are going to continue to see us offer lower-power processors just like the Neo being offered at 15 watts" Randy Allen, senior vice president of the computing solutions group, AMD

AMD recently announced 2008 losses of over $3bn, with revenue plummeting 35-percent in Q4 2008.  The company earlier sold their handheld graphics and multimedia divisions to Qualcomm, giving them even less motivation to tackle the mobile device market.


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