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AMD puts more life into notebooks

Chip company roll out battery saving processors

AMD has launched its latest range of mobile processors, attempting to steal thunder both from industry leader Intel and dark horse Transmeta.

The AMD-K6-2+ range incorporates AMD’s Powernow! technology, which like Intel’s SpeedStep allows a longer battery life. However, unlike Intel’s SpeedStep it does not offer users a simple choice between high clock speed (mains) and low clock speed (battery).

Instead it adjusts the clock speed to what is required by the system. So if a user is running a word processing application, the clock speed falls accordingly – reducing power consumption and prolonging battery life.

This is also what Transmeta’s much hyped LongRun technology claims to do. The company, which has recently announced notebook deals with IBM, NEC and Fujitsu, has made the challenging claim that a LongRun based Crusoe processor can run a notebook for 8.9 hours on one charge. This claim has not been independently verified as yet.

Dave Everitt, AMD mobile products manager, claimed a conservative estimate of battery life for a notebook using Powernow technology would be just over four hours on one charge.

The K6-2+ will be available in HP Omnibooks with models from Compaq, Fujitsu and Toshiba to follow. The chip will be available in 475, 500, 533 and 550 models.

AMD also revealed that later this year it will launch mobile versions of its Duron and Athlon chips, incorporating Powernow!

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