Yukon's successor, codenamed Congo, hopes to offer full-size notebook-like performance in a small, ultra-thin form factor. In order to do so, it builds on Yukon in two key areas - processing power and integrated graphics.
To make it easier to absorb, here's a brief table highlighting the differences between typical Yukon-based and Congo-based notebooks.
|Processor||1.6GHz Athlon Neo MV-40||1.6GHz Athlon Neo X2 L335|
|Chipset||690E + SB600||780M + SB710|
|Integrated graphics||ATI Radeon X1250||ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3200|
|DirectX||DirectX 9||DirectX 10|
Congo's dual-core processor, codenamed Conesus, is a key upgrade. With a pair of 1.6GHz cores, the chip should be better equipped to compete with Intel's alternative, the ultra-low-voltage Core 2 Duo.
Teaming up with the 1.6GHz Athlon Neo X2 processor is an AMD 780M chipset and SB710 southbridge. It's a downsized version of the desktop 780G platform launched early in 2008, and it brings with it ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3200-series graphics, providing full support for DirectX 10.
It's a potent-looking combination, and on paper it's far more capable than Intel's Atom, whilst graphically superior to many Intel CULV systems, too. But there is at least one proviso - Congo's CPU carries a TDP of 18W, comfortably higher than the 10W figure associated with Intel's CULV parts and far in excess of the 2.5W power draw of a single-core Atom processor. We'll find out if the figures have an adverse effect on battery life later in the review.
Considering that Yukon and Congo are both shrunken-down derivatives of older technology, the power-draw hurdle is one that AMD is unlikely to overcome until the company's Bobcat architecture arrives in 2011.