AMD’s ‘Mendocino’ Chip Will Bring 10-Hour Battery Life To Cheap Laptops

At Computex 2022, AMD announced its new ‘Mendocino’ mobile APUs aimed at mainstream Windows laptops and Chromebooks. AMD has been on a launching spree this year, having announced its Ryzen 6000 ‘Rembrandt’ mobile processors at the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show as part of its plans to compete against Intel’s Alder Lake chips and Apple’s M1 line of ARM-based processors. The chips come with the new Zen 3+ CPU architecture and RDNA 2 integrated graphics built on TSMC’s 6nm node.

The company also showcased its Ryzen 7000 desktop processors at the event in Taiwan and is expected to release its ‘Dragon Range’ chips for enthusiast gaming laptops and ‘Phoenix’ for thin and light gaming notebooks next year. In addition to its CPU and APU lineups, AMD is expected to launch its new RDNA 3 GPUs later this year as successors to the current-gen Radeon RX 6000-series cards that were released in late 2020. The company also recently expanded its RX 6000 family with the launch of the 6950 XT, 6750 XT and 6650 XT earlier this month.

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The Mendocino APUs come with four Zen 2 cores and RDNA 2 graphics and are expected to power entry-level and mid-range laptops. They are anticipated to replace AMD’s Ryzen C-class processors, including the 3000C ‘Picasso’ and ‘Dali’ chips. According to AMD’s announcement, Mendocino will support LPDDR5 memory, but it isn’t immediately clear whether it will be dual-channel (64-bit) or quad-channel (128-bit) memory bus. While the latter would have been the default at the higher-end of the spectrum, it isn’t clear whether that will be the case as Mendocino is squarely targeted at the affordable segment.

The Mendocino chips will be pretty similar to the Van Gogh APUs which form the basis of the Steam Deck’s custom Aerith APU. However, while the Van Gogh is fabbed on TSMC’s 7nm node, the new chips are built using the company’s 6nm process. As expected, one of the main advantages of the newer manufacturing process will be power efficiency. According to AMD, the new chips will offer a minimum of 10 hours of battery life, depending on usage. However, given that Mendocino will power low-end laptops with smaller batteries, the overall battery life may not be anywhere near the amount promised by AMD.

AMD will release the Mendocino chips to OEMs in the fourth quarter of this year, which means consumers can expect some devices powered by these chips to hit the market in time for the holiday shopping season. Lenovo has already confirmed that it will release an IdeaPad 1 laptop with the new chip, and more OEMs are expected to follow suit in the coming weeks and months. However, much will depend on how well AMD’s Mendocino competes against Intel’s entry-level chips.

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Source: AMD

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