AMD's netbook chip plans become clearer -

AMD's "better late than never" approach to chip releases is working jolly well.

For a while we have been wondering when AMD would get out a chip designed for the growing netbook market. The smart money was on the chip appearing after no one wanted netbooks any more and it looks like they will collect.

We knew that AMD was releasing two new processor cores codenamed Bulldozer and Bobcat for release in 2011. Bulldozer is designed for desktops & servers, whilst Bobcat is targeted at ultra-thin notebooks.

But it is starting to look like Bobcat will also include a netbook orientated chip.

On the face of it this make sense. Bobcat was supposed to have power efficiency in mind and AMD has claimed that it will burn the same amount of juice as an Intel Atom ie 10W-15W.

But it will also have integrated graphics and not require Nvidia's Ion graphics to give it half-decent performance.

According to Hardware Central the whole lot is going out under the "Fusion" programme.

This is AMD's long-term project to integrate its CPU cores with graphics processor cores from ATI.

The new chip will be designed for 12-inch and smaller screens and will be a new part rather than a slashed down lesser chip.

However don't expect to see the chip until 2011. By then we will know if the world is about to end, or if the iPad was laughed off the market, or if a netbook was a hula hoop in the IT industry.