AMD is aiming to lower the cost of entry-level PCs with a new AM1 platform that combines most system functionality into a single accelerated processor unit (APU) chip. The motherboard and APU together should cost as little as $60 (£36), according to the firm.
Due for rollout from 9 April, the AM1 platform is aimed at markets where entry-level PCs are going up against other low-cost devices, according to AMD. It will ship to system vendors in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South East Asia and Latin America first, then shipping to North America and the Pacific region later this year.
Adam Kozak, AMD's desktop product marketing manager, said: "We're seeing that the market for these lower-cost PCs is increasing. We're also seeing other devices out there trying to fill that gap, but there's really a big difference between what these devices can do versus what a Windows PC can do."
The AM1 platform combines a processor branded Athlon or Sempron, which is based on the firm's Kabini APU system on a chip (SoC), with a motherboard based on the FS1b upgradable socket design. These motherboards have no chipset, as all functions are integrated into the APU, and need little more than the addition of memory modules to make a working system.
Kabini has up to four Jaguar CPU cores and AMD's Graphics Core Next (GCN) GPU, an on-chip memory controller supporting up to 16GB of DDR3-1600 memory, plus all the typical system input and output functions, including SATA ports for storage, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports, VGA and HDMI graphics outputs.
AMD said it is going after Intel's Bay Trail with the AM1 platform, and expects to see it in small form factor desktop PCs, so-called net-top systems, or even media-streaming boxes.
"We see it being used for basic computing, some light productivity and basic gaming, and really going after the Windows 8.1 environment with its four cores, which we'll be able to offer for less [than the competition]," Kozak said.
The FS1b upgradable socket means that users will be able to upgrade the system at a later date, AMD claimed, while in Bay Trail and other low-cost platforms, the processor is mounted directly to the motherboard.
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