AMD Neo Platform Coming To Nettops, AIO PCs

Advanced Micro Device's 'Neo' platform landed with a bang earlier this year, with a promise to counter Intel's Atom and even rival NVIDIA's own Ion platform. Turns out, most of that was just talk--or, at least that's how things look from the outside looking in. Since the dawn of 2009, we've seen countless netbooks and even notebooks arrive with Intel's Atom processor, but we've only seen a few counterparts with AMD's Neo tucked inside.

In fact, HP's Pavilion dvz2 is the platform's flagship product, and needless to say, that device is less than mainstream in the grand scheme of things. Rather than trying to fight the giant that is Intel at a game that it has already won, it seems that AMD may be looking for alternative uses for the promising Neo technology. Starting with nettops and all-in-one PCs.

As we alluded to, Neo was initially engineered to be used specifically within notebooks and netbooks, thin-and-light machines that would deliver "full functionality at affordable prices." Unlike most Atom setups out there, Neo laptops would be able to handle high-def video and multitasking, but it seems too few PC makers decided to switch course and opt for AMD's solution over Intel's proven solution.

Bob Grim, director of client marketing for AMD, admits that the Neo's main target is still ultrathin laptops, but he notes that some companies are looking to insert Neo into nettops and AIO machines. Specifically, he noted:

"We've known all along that this type of technology would really work well in multiple platforms and multiple types of form factors."

He also asserted that the "first products later this year with Neo chips could be all-in-one PCs, which incorporate a CPU, motherboard and monitor in one box to which the mouse and keyboard are attached." When you think about, Neo could actually work well in desktops. In more cases than notebooks, desktop users demand raw horsepower needed for multimedia playback, and while Atom-powered nettops can handle only YouTube clips, Neo-powered nettops could easily handle 720p material.

When asked about placing Neo into more machines, specifically nettops and AIOs, Dean McCarron, principal analyst at Mercury Research had this to say:

"It's absolutely relevant. It's playing to AMD's long-term strength that they have been strong in desktop and notebook, and they have been strong in low-cost desktop."

Of course, we've yet to see any PC makers admit to wanting to do this, but we wouldn't doubt if a few don't speak up soon. And trust us--the nettop market needs a jolt, something which Neo could deifnitely help with.