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Possible June arrival for 'ultrathin' devices that could be substantially cheaper than ultrabooks.

AMD’s Trinity to compete with Intel’s ultrabooks

AMD is to take aim at Intel’s ultrabook initiative with an alternative thin-and-light notebook platform based on AMD’s upcoming Trinity processor, as demoed at CES last week.

The Intel-rival talked up the second-generation Trinity combined CPU/GPU based on the new Piledriver CPU with a GPU based on the same architecture as the recently launched Radeon HD 7970. AMD’s new ‘ultrathin’ category is looking to undercut Intel’s ultrabooks with devices appearing for as little as US$500, they said.

At CES AMD wasn’t talking about when Trinity would appear but Far Eastern supply chain sources quoted by the DigiTimes pointed towards a June arrival for the Deccan platform, also naming the APUs as Krishna and Wichta.

The same sources reckoned that the platform will attract the top notebook manufacturers including HP, Acer and Asus. They anticipated that models based on Intel’s ultrabook platform would considerably outnumber AMD’s platform, with 75 to appear in 2012.

That said, an estimated 20 models of AMD-powered ‘ultrathins’ will not be a bad effort and spells some kind of hope that the rush to thin-and-light notebooks will not be entirely dominated by relatively pricey ultrabooks.

It’ll also be interesting to see if AMD manages to maintain a lead in GPU performance. With ultrabook prices the way they are, it seems reasonable that punters would expect better than the usual rubbish Intel integrated graphics performance.

As usual, a little competition will do much to keep Intel honest.

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