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AMD moves away from Alchemy and Geode, but hints at more powerful embedded solutions

According to several reports, AMD announced that it will be closing down its embedded microprocessor design facility in Longmont, Colorado. Back in 2003, AMD purchased the facility from National Semiconductor that was working on a system-on-chip processor families. These original Geode embedded processors were x86 compatible processors that were used in devices such as handhelds, competing with Intel's line of ARM architecture XScale processors.

AMD will be cutting roughly 75 jobs from the Longmont location, while another 75 jobs from the same location will be relocated to Ft. Collins, Colorado. According to reports, AMD plans the Ft. Collins location close to where HP has its location.

Closing of the Geode facility marks AMD's second closure of embedded microprocessors as the company previously announced that it sold the Alchemy division to Raza Microelectronics. Interestingly, AMD did not comment on whether or not it would outright sell its Geode division. The Geode processors were known to be more powerful than the Alchemy processors, although they are also generally more expensive. In fact, AMD's Geode NX processor was based on a mobile Athlon processor running at 667MHz to 1.4GHz. According to Erick Salo, AMD's director of marketing for embedded processors, closing the Geode facility was "a design focus decision, rather than a decision about product lines."

Intel this year also sold its XScale division to Marvell for $600 million. The transition Intel said, would take roughly four months to complete. AMD's announcement of the Alchemy line separation came around roughly the same time as Intel's announcement, and the new details about its Geode line seems to confirm AMD's change of focus. Salo indicated that customers showed interest in embedded processors derived from its highly successful Opteron processors. "There is a lot of opportunity there," Salo said.


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RE: Count me in as a "customer showing interest"
By encia on 7/20/2006 7:52:38 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Thus the reason for the dominance of non-x86 architectures in the embedded market, e.g., PowerPC, ARM, DSPs, 8051 family, Zilog, PIC, etc., generally with much lower power consumption than an x86 counterpart.

According to
http://www.tundra.com/NewsRoom/PressReleases/2005/...
With ~60 million p.a. unit sales(2004/2005), PowerPC hardly dominates the embedded market compared MIPS and ARM.


By TomZ on 7/20/2006 9:42:06 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
PowerPC hardly dominates the embedded market compared MIPS and ARM.

I didn't say that PowerPC dominates the market compared to MIPS and ARM. I said that all these architectures together dominate the market relative to x86. I think many people not familiar with the embedded market might not realize this, since they are used to x86 total dominance in PCs. In embedded systems, almost the complete opposite is true.


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