updated 07:30 am EDT, Thu September 10, 2009
AMD Congo platform
AMD this morning kicked off the launch of an updated notebook offering and headlined it with Congo, the nickname for its next-generation Ultrathin Platform. The new architecture includes AMD's faster 1.6GHz Turion Neo X2, found in the HP dv2z, but focuses on graphics performance and battery life. It uses a Radeon HD 3200 much like AMD's fuller-size notebooks and as a result can decode 1080p video smoothly in hardware; at the same time, AMD estimates about an hour more of battery life than its earlier platform.
The processor designer admits that finished systems are likely to be more expensive than the existing HP dv2z but that they're now targeted more directly against Intel's CULV platform, where larger 13.3- and 14-inch screens are more common and performance is higher than on a netbook. AMD claims that Congo's 3D graphics performance is about 77 percent faster than Intel's, and that raw processor speed makes it about 43 percent faster than an equivalent CULV chip in encoding video.
Systems based on Congo are already shipping from Acer and ASUS, though AMD plans to be much more aggressive in pushing the platform and expects 20 systems to ship on or before the launch of Windows 7.