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AMD opens notebook lab in Japan

Tokyo-based engineers to think up machine designs geared for company's mobile chips.

Advanced Micro Devices has opened an engineering lab in Japan to work on designs for thin-and-light notebooks geared to its chips.

The company intends to hire 15 to 20 engineers over the next 12 to 18 months. The Tokyo facility will focus on low-power technology suitable for thin-and-light notebooks as well as for consumer electronics and communication devices, AMD said on Wednesday.

AMD's rival and dominant chipmaker Intel listed low-power chips as one of its key initiatives when it unveiled its plans for mobile computing last September.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-headquartered AMD said the new lab will work on electrical, thermal and silicon designs and will closely interact with AMD's engineering teams in other locations, including Austin, Texas; Dresden, Germany; and Taipei, Taiwan.

The Japanese facility will be led by Steve Polzin, the chief platform architect at AMD. Japan was chosen for the lab's location because of its high penetration of notebook computers, the chipmaker said. In 2003, the notebook segment comprised nearly 55 percent of the Japanese PC market, it said.

Japanese notebook manufacturer Sharp said it would work with AMD in developing technology.