NEC, Sony, and Fujitsu are all putting Advanced Micro Devices' new mobile Athlon 4 and mobile Duron processors into notebook computers that are expected to ship before the end of May.
The three manufacturers last year shared more than half of the Japanese PC market. They will use the newest versions of the hot mobile chips in notebook models to be sold initially in Japan, according to an AMD spokesperson.
Compaq last week announced plans to offer a notebook with the Mobile Athlon 4 chip, which will challenge Intel's Pentium III mobile chip.
"This is good for them because AMD needed to reestablish themselves with these vendors," says Keven Krewell, senior analyst with MicroDesign Resources.
Krewell says the mobile Athlon 4 fills a gap in the AMD chip line and should match up well against Intel's Pentium III mobile processor and its Tualatin chip line. It also accelerates the mobile speed wars between the two leading chip makers. Intel and AMD are getting a nudge, especially in regard to Japanese notebook makers, from Transmeta's low-power Crusoe chip.
"This is a real solution. The mobile Athlon 4 fills a really nice niche," says Krewell.