AMD is introducing a mobile platform at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas which it claims will fill a gap in the laptop market between low-cost netbook models such as the Asus Eee PC and ultra portables – with the former providing a limited PC experience, according to AMD, and the latter being too expensive. Codenamed Yukon, the new platform uses a single-core Athlon Neo processor clocked at 1.6GHz together with either an ATI Radeon HD 3450 discrete GPU or the X1250 integrated graphics.

Laptops based on the Yukon platform will be similar in size to other ultraportable laptops – some of the most prominent examples include Apple’s MacBook Air, the Lenovo X300 and the Sony Vaio TT series – but should be available for a much more affordable price tag. HP is among the first companies to announce a notebook using the Athlon Neo processor, the Pavilion dv2, which will start at $699 and top out at $899 for standard configurations.

Other specs for the single-core Athlon Neo processor include a 512KB L2 cache, Direct X 9 graphics, support for 667MHz DDR2 memory and a thermal envelope of 15 watts. A dual-core part, codenamed “Conesus,” will arrive in the second half of this year.