Toshiba to use AMD chip in entry-level laptop

Toshiba to introduce a laptop in the US and Europe powered by an AMD processor

After a break of several years, Toshiba is about to introduce a laptop computer powered by an AMD processor.

The world's number four laptop PC maker said the new machine would be available soon in the US and Europe. It would be aimed at the entry-level sector of the market, a company spokesperson said.

No other details about the laptop were immediately available although Toshiba suggested its US and European divisions could be making an announcement soon.

The design win for AMD comes as it is stepping up the pressure against Intel in the expanding laptop sector. Intel has just launched its new Santa Rosa laptop platform and in response AMD is readying its own platform called Puma. However, that isn't likely to launch until mid-2008.

The two companies are locked in competition at the bottom-end of the market too. AMD scored the contract to supply chips for One Laptop Per Child's "$100 laptop" after which Intel introduced its own machine for emerging markets, the Classmate PC.

Toshiba stopped using AMD chips in laptops around 2001 - something that was highlighted in court documents when AMD launched an antitrust suit against Intel almost two years ago.

AMD alleged that Toshiba dropped the use of its chips after receiving a very substantial payment from Intel. Toshiba was receiving market development funds from Intel worth about $US25 million to $US30 million per quarter and those would be jeopardised if it used AMD chips, the lawsuit alleged.

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Martyn Williams

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