With its move to create a Personal Connectivity Solutions group, Advanced Micro Devices hopes to tap a potentially lucrative market, supplying customers with full sets of multimedia features for handheld devices.
The market forecast for handheld devices
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AMD carves entry into device market
Gartner Dataquest expects handheld devices to grow in sophistication. The line between cell phones and PDAs will become increasingly blurred. Users of more powerful handheld devices in the future will demand a variety of features such as video decompression and compression, MP3 playback, 3D graphics, polyphonic synthesizers, and multiple wireless subsystems.
Such growing sophistication is creating a market opportunity for semiconductor devices that can provide those kinds of system features. As more and more applications and storage are connected remotely into the wireless network, handheld devices will increasingly act as consumers' mobile connection to their business and personal activities.
The key to success in this market is standardization and flexibility. To support its design investment and make a profit, AMD will have to sell a great many chips. The company has taken the first steps along that road.
However, AMD's use of the MIPS Technologies processor rather than the near-ubiquitous ARM processor may present a challenge in the key handheld and cell phone markets. It would not be surprising to see AMD emulate or incorporate an ARM instruction set into this class of device at some point in the future.
(For related commentary on AMD, see Gartner.com.)
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