“Asustek Computer is rumored to have placed a large order for AMD’s low-end Sempron CPUs promoting industry sources to speculate that the company is planning to support both Intel and AMD platforms with its upcoming E-DT product range.
Asustek revealed in late January that is was planning to extend its Eee PC notebook range with three new product types, E-Monitor, E-TV, and E-DT. The E-DT will be a line of desktop PC systems sold without a display, targeting an initial price range of US$200-300 and below, depending on specifications.
Asustek has confirmed that it plans to support Intel’s low-cost PC platform, Shelton’08, with the E-DT, however, the type of CPU and the size of the AMD order Asustek is said to have placed would be consistent with moves to develop an AMD-based alternative.
Estimates vary on the exact amount of CPUs procured, with some industry sources putting the figure as high as one million units. More conservative sources believe the amount falls within the 0.5-1 million range, while pointing out that a proportion of the CPUs may be destined for other Asustek product lines, and so may not entirely reflect the company’s commitment to an AMD-based E-DT lineup.
On the other hand, some in the industry have dismissed the speculation saying that Asustek is unlikely to source CPUs from AMD at the risk of upsetting Intel. In support if this is the fact that AMD does not have a low-cost PC platform offering, which means Asustek would have to source the necessary chipsets and other components from a third-party such as Via Technologies or Silicon Integrated System (SiS).
One other theory proposed is that the entire speculation was seeded by Asustek deliberately in order to remind Intel that is is not the only shark in the CPU ocean, and that it can turn to Intel’s competitors if it is not happy with the deal offered on Shelton’08 components.”
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Digitimes has heard from an unspecified source that ASUS has placed a large order of Sempron chips from AMD, possibly as many as one million chips. This rumour has started a large ball rolling, spawning speculation that the ASUS Eee will not continue to be an Intel only platform, in the future it is possible we may see some Eee’s with AMD inside. Others think that is unlikely, as Intel has a long history of threatening to stop supplying chips to manufacturers for a variety of reasons, up to and including manufacturers that wanted to use AMD chips in addition to Intel. Others point out that this couls be a rumour started by ASUS to remind Intel they aren’t the only chip out there, and the antitrust suit has to be fresh in Intel executives minds.