Self-proclaimed ‘processing powerhouse’ AMD is one of the few companies that seems to be making product announcements at the IT-focussed CeBIT show in Hannover, Germany. It’s announced the new high-end 780 integrated graphics series as well as bigging up 45nm chip production due in the second half of the year.

As you’d expect, the 780 series has DirectX 10, HD and Blu-ray playback support and according to AMD will be competitively priced against the equivalent Intel chipsets. It’s also compatible with quad-core Phenoms as well as AMD’s dual-core Athlon 64 X2.

AMD cites the target market as consisting of “casual gamers and multimedia enthusiasts”. Serious gamers are, naturally, expected to plump for a dedicated graphics solution and AMD’s 790 series chipsets (part of the Spider platform).

The mainstream AMD 780 Series is, says AMD, “a core platform component for both the AMD desktop PC platform codenamed ‘Cartwheel’ and AMD notebook PC platform codenamed ‘Puma’”, which are both scheduled to launch in the second quarter. It seems the 780 will be the spearhead of AMD’s effort to bounce back into mainstream desktop and mobile computing.

“The launch of the AMD 780 Series marks an uncommonly large step forward in mainstream PC capabilities,” said Phil Eisler, corporate vice president and general manager, AMD Chipset Division, in a statement released to the press.

45nm later in 2008

The second quarter is also when board manufacturers and PC vendors are expected to bring out their 780 Series-based offerings. The series will be available in 780G desktop version and M780G for mobile use.

The 780G is compatible with a new technology called ATI Hybrid Graphics Technology which we’ll bring you the skinny on soon.

AMD also says it is on target to deliver 45nm process chips in quantity by the second half of the year. The 780 chips are manufactured using 55nm process technology.

AMD’s work on 45nm has been developed in cahoots with IBM – a sign of the times. It’s a growing trend that chip manufacturers are having to work together to keep costs low and fly in the face of Intel’s might. The first 45nm chips demonstrated by AMD include ‘Shanghai’ for servers and ‘Deneb’ for desktop PCs.