AMD is hoping for 15 percent of the notebook market

With a little help from Congo

AMD SEEMS TO BE EXCITED about its potential in the notebook market this year, as the company is expecting to steal away some market share from Intel. AMD is expecting to hit in excess of 10 percent market share by the middle of this year and to reach 15 percent by the end of the year. It might not sound like much, but considering how tiny AMD’s share of the notebook market is, this would be a huge improvement.

How close AMD will get to reaching its goals depends on a lot of factors, but the company is currently putting its focus on the Congo platform. This is pretty much AMD’s answer to Intel’s CULV platform, although most products have ended up somewhere between a netbook and most CULV based notebooks. Although HP was one of AMD’s first partners with the Yukon based dv2 last year, the Acer group and MSI also had models based on the same platform.

However, this year has seen both Lenovo and Asus announce models based on AMD’s Congo platform and we’d expect more to follow. Yukon didn’t quite live up to the expectations of a mobile platform, since the notebooks based on it were running too hot and the battery life was far from what most people had come to expect from a modern notebook. Another problem was the Athlon Neo MV-40 single core CPU, which performed not much better than Intel’s Atom. The choice of chipset was also disappointing and the entry level discrete graphics upgrade option just wasted more valuable battery power.

In AMD’s defence it seems like the Congo platform has rectified most of the mistakes that AMD made with the Yukon platform and hopefully that is something we can put behind us. Battery life might still not be up there with Intel’s most frugal models, but AMD has managed to crank up the performance, improve the graphics performance through a new chipset and maintain an attractive price point.

The biggest hurdle for AMD to reach its market share targets is to convince the consumers to spend their money on a notebook without Centrino, as Intel has somehow managed to brainwash people into thinking that they need a notebook with Centrino. Ask anyone if they know what Centrino is and you’ll get a million different answers, because most people don’t have a clue, but hey, great marketing there Intel. With some stronger partners and some great new designs like Lenovo’s new ThinkPad X100e AMD does have a fighting chance, at least until Intel decides that it needs to get more price competitive.S|A

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