New Turion Chip Introduced

In the past few years, AMD concentrated mostly on the desktop, server, and large notebook market demands. As a replacement to the current Athlon 64 chip, the new Turion chip is more energy efficient by generally running at slower speeds than their desktop counterparts and containing dedicated circuitry that allows them to slow themselves automatically to control power consumption.

The new architecture will allow for integration into small notebooks that weigh a few pounds. Also, battery life will last longer than former chip counterparts.

Acer, now one of the fastest growing PC makers thanks to its notebook line, will adopt the chip, AMD said, as will Fujitsu-Siemens and others.

Seven models of Turion 64 are available for sale immediately, AMD said, at prices ranging from $189 to $354 each in 1,000-unit quantities. Intel charges between $209 and $637 for Pentium M, the microprocessor component of the Centrino brand.

The price difference allows notebooks containing Turions to be slightly more affordable.

Current AMD Turions only operates with 1MB of cache and runs at speeds up to 2GHz, while Intel Pentium Ms fairs much better with 2MB of cache and 2.13GHz. However, Turion comes equipped with HyperTransport, an input-output channel that boosts performance.

"The performance (of Turion) should be as good or better, but I'm pretty sure the Pentium M will maintain an advantage on battery life for a year or so," said Nathan Brookwood, an analyst at Insight 64.