Yesterday, the next generation AMD chip for mobile devices was unveiled, and it looks as though Intel may have a competitor again. Maybe the kind it had when Opteron and Athlon64 were launched.

Gordon Mah Ung, longtime reviewer from Maximum PC was there, and had a few things to say about the demonstration –

AMD’s next-generation APU will kick the ass of Core i5, the company said and demonstrated Monday – the opening day of Intel’s Developer Forum conference.

That’s the kind of news you can use, if you’re among the AMD faithful!

AMD publically lifted the veil on the Zacate Accelerated Processor Unit on Monday. Zacate fuses the guts of a traditional CPU with the guts of a GPU. The result of that hard work, AMD said, is a chip that consumes from 9-18 watts and out performs existing Core i5 chips in gaming. The company showed Zacate  running City of Heroes: Going Rogue running like butter on a mobile development platform.

I read that and heard the voice of Mike Meyers, circa his SNL days, saying “Like Buttah!”

When integrated into a notebook, AMD said a $500 Zacate-based laptop will outperform an $800 Intel Core i5-based computer. The company also demonstrated the same 2.4GHz Core i5 M240 choking on Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 performance demo while the Zacate could smoothly run several of the demos with 3 to 4 times the frame rate of the Intel part with integrated graphics.

Ooh, better performance and a price point below to boot! We like the sound of that. I’m sure some price cuts will be forthcoming from Intel, to tighten the competition, but the prices will lower for the i5 parts.

AMD said notebooks using Zacate are expected to ship at end of the year to OEMs with the first products for sale early next year. It should be noted that the demo mostly demonstrates the graphics prowess of Zacate against the recognized anemic graphics performance of Intel’s Arrandale core.

Intel itself was busy detailing its next generation Sandy Bridge chip which is expected to overclock the compute cores higher than existing chips and will also overclock the graphics cores higher.

Of course there is that. But if AMD can get the jump for even a couple of weeks, it would be a victory, and a show that the old AMD, circa 2003, is back. When the Bulldozers and Bobcats start rolling along, we will see some fierce competition once again.

In the meantime, I’m sure someone will come out with a mini-ITX motherboard that will take a Zacate, so as to make a very high performing small form PC, that does not say Intel Inside.

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Intel has been doing that lately. Maybe now we’ll see a real race, and some major progress from both companies – like the kind of progress IBM has shown with the Power chips. I’m thinking 5GHz, on air…

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