AMD Rolls Out Next-gen Turion Laptop Chips

Advanced Micro Devices Inc rolled out its line of chips for laptops Wednesday, a major overhaul of its mobile lineup the chip maker hopes will gradually help it climb out of a deep financial trough.

The Sunnyvale-based company is betting consumers will gravitate toward its new Turion brand processor and related Puma chipset.

AMD said that its early partners include Acer Inc, Asus, Dell Inc, Fujitsu Siemens Computers BV and Hewlett-Packard Co, which will put out mid-range laptops with prices between $700 and $2000. Advanced Micro Devices offers three versions of its platform, all featuring the company’s latest Turion-X2 Ultra, a 64-bit, dual-core processor. The fastest CPU runs at 2.4GHz.

Chip makers AMD, Intel Corp and Nvidia Corp are battling over high-end graphics as more people watch movies and television programs on their home computers and as operating systems and Web applications require better visuals.

To that end, AMD’s new chips, which were unveiled at the Computex computer show in Taiwan, rely heavily on parts from ATI Technologies, a graphics chip supplier that AMD bought for $5.6 billion in 2006, to gradually help it challenge Nvidia and much larger Intel.

Intel is the world’s No. 1 maker of microprocessors, the brains of personal computers. AMD is a distant No. 2, and with the acquisition of ATI now makes standalone graphics chips. Nvidia is the market leader in standalone graphics chips.

AMD hopes that by infusing its general-purpose chips with more advanced graphics capabilities it can boost their appeal and help the company increase its market share.

AMD’s new Turion X2 Ultra Dual-Core mobile processors, which come in clock speeds up to 2.4 gigahertz, are accompanied by powerful new Puma chipsets, a separate set of chips that do most of the graphics work and control how the processor writes with the rest of the computer.

AMD says its chipsets deliver three times better 3-D performance and five times better high-definition image quality than competing models due to the strength of its integrated graphics. AMD also says its chips deliver high-definition videos and photos faster over wireless networks.