AMD has today announced availability of notebooks based on its next-generation Puma platform at a press conference in Taipei City. Notebooks based on Puma feature the new AMD Turion X2 Ultra dual-core 'Griffin' mobile processor and ATI Radeon HD 3000 series graphics. This will enable users to experience "the ultimate HD visual performance and increasing energy efficiency," claims Dirk Meyer, president and COO of AMD.
"There are only two companies in the world that can build and deliver high-performance microprocessors and there are only two companies in the world that can build and deliver high-performance graphics solutions. Only AMD can do both," added Meyer.
Puma is based on AMD's M780G chipset, which is very similar to the desktop version that launched earlier this year - it incorporates many of the same technologies that were in the desktop equivalent, including Hybrid CrossFireX, ATI's UVD engine and Avivo. In addition, AMD has integrated a technology known as PowerXpress into M780G and it enables notebook manufacturers to include a Mobility Radeon 3000-series graphics card for gaming purposes without hurting battery life, since you can turn it off when it's not required.
We've seen demos of this technology working on some early development notebooks and we have to say it looked pretty slick - as soon as you unplug the notebook's power supply, a driver window pops up and warns you that the discrete graphics adapter will be disabled. The switch between the two modes isn't perfectly transparent because the screen flickers a little when you're changing from discrete to integrated graphics; however, it's automatic and that's what's important in our opinion.
If you thought that was enough, it's not, as AMD has also introduced a new technology known as ATI XGP Technology, which enables gamers to enjoy gaming on the go on small notebooks that you wouldn't normally associate with gaming. ATI XGP Technology works in much the same way as the Asus XG Station, although this time it runs over a dedicated PCI-Express x16 interface instead of via ExpressCard. While that may sound like a bit of a fad, I'd love to be able to game on my Ultra Portable when I'm away from home for weeks on end.