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AMD ponders bigger x86 chip clan

Advanced Micro Devices plans to expand its family of processors based on the x86 architecture to fit a broader range of computing devices.

The chipmaker will launch its Athlon64, a new high-performance processor for desktop and notebook PCs, next week. But it's already exploring offering even more chips based on the x86 processor architecture in an effort to win a wider range of customers, Hector Ruiz, AMD's CEO, said in an interview with CNET News.com. AMD aims to employ what one might call an "x86 everywhere" strategy, under which it will expand the use of the x86 architecture, the basic design that underlies all of its PC chips and those from competitors Intel and VIA Technologies, Ruiz said. AMD could produce new, presumably lower-cost x86 processors for devices such as handhelds or possibly even very low-price PCs for emerging markets, he said.

The new strategy, which Ruiz will unveil during his Wednesday afternoon TechXNY keynote here, would allow AMD to take advantage of the mountain of software and hardware available to support x86 chips. It would be easy to build a basic handheld device that ran the latest version of Windows, for example. Ruiz will demonstrate such a device during the keynote. The combination of readily available hardware and software would simplify the development process for new devices. It would also ease the job of corporate information technology staffs by allowing them to run the same basic software on devices ranging from handhelds all the way to eight-processor servers, Ruiz said.

News source: C|Net News.com

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