AMD Not Making Netbook CPU After All

Bobcat was a red herring apparently.

When, in the wake of the company’s CEO just stepped down, AMD’s replacement head honcho, Dirk Mayer, confirmed that come November plans for an Atom-rivalling low-power CPU we assumed that everything was on the straight and level. Now, however, Nigel Dessau, AMD’s Chief Marketing Officer is contradicting that message, stating to eWeek that the company has no intentions to enter the netbook market.

Said Dessau: “”We are not saying it’s not an important segment and we’re not saying it’s not a growing segment. What we are saying is that we are a smaller company and we have to focus on what we do well at this point. We are watching that segment rather than playing in it, but as it matures we’ll see where it goes. At this moment, we are going to focus on what we do best”.”

Given the monopoly that Intel has on the netbook space right now, I can see Dessau’s point. Although quite why it would be made in opposition to AMD’s CEO’s comments isn’t as clear. One possibility is that the ‘Bobcat’ processor Mayer was talking about is intended for entirely different applications than Atom.

It is also feasible that in the wake of Ruiz stepping down and AMD’s continuing losses that over the few days between Mayer’s and Dessau’s comments AMD changed its plans. That’s a viewpoint enhanced by Dessau’s suggestion that AMD will be refocusing its efforts on its core businesses: mainstream CPUs and graphics (under the ATI banner).

We’ll have to wait and see if Bobcat was a red herring, or if it will indeed surface in a non-netbook arena. Either way, we can safely predict some disappointed AMD fans.


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