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CES: AMD announces details of Puma platform

AMD laptop platform to boast hybrid graphics

AMD today revealed details of its next-generation Puma platform for notebook PCs. AMD Puma is designed to maximise battery life despite the heavy graphics performance demanded by the Windows Vista OS.

Windows Vista: the definitive review.

The Puma platform will come with processors named Turion Ultra, originally codenamed Griffin, and include Hybrid Graphics Technology, which boosts the platform's graphics performance by running both the integrated graphics processor and discrete graphics together.

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Discrete graphics cards, which are usually plugged into a slot on the motherboard, usually provide more video memory and graphics processing power than integrated graphics processors, which are included on a system's motherboard.

The platform will include the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3400 discrete graphics card, which is specially designed to work with an integrated graphics card to either crunch extreme graphics or to get better system performance-per-Watt, said Scott Shutter, mobile division brand manager at AMD.

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AMD will also launch ATI PowerXpress for the Puma platform, which allows users to switch between integrated and discrete graphics dynamically without rebooting their laptop. This allows the discrete graphics card to be used for graphics intensive applications when under AC power, and the integrated graphics to be used for extended battery life when on the go, said Bahr Mahony, division marketing manager with AMD's mobile processor group.

The platform will fully support DirectX 10.1, Microsoft's 3D graphics platform.

See also:

AMD Phenom vs Intel Penryn - the verdict

The hybrid graphics capabilities will ship with notebooks based on the Puma platform in the middle of this year, Shutter said. Though intended to be a centerpiece of the Puma platform, the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3400 graphics card is already separately shipping with Asus systems, according to AMD. Pricing information was not available.

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