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AMD Processors Heading To Tablets In 2012

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Rory Read, CEO of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), has outlined to analysts how the company would use its PC chip technology to “attack the fast-growing tablet segment as well as the emerging markets” but said it would not be getting into the smartphone segment.

This means that we will be seeing tablets running Windows 8 and powered by low-power AMD processors in the second half of 2012. AMD will be able to use its expertise in developing low-power processors to challenge ARM-based chips from the likes of Nvidia and Qualcomm as well as the low-power Medfield chips from Intel which are also due this year.

AMD produces what it calls accelerated processing units (APUs) into which it integrates CPUs and GPU. While the company has, until now, only included its own CPUs and GPUs is has declared that it is open to including third-party CPUs into its APUs - for example a motion video codec accelerator, which would work well on tablets.

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During its presentation to analysts, AMD made particular mention of ARM, signaling the likelihood of us seeing ARM processors on the next generation of AMD APUs. However since ARM has spoken of moving into the server and datacentre sector, we’re unlikely to see these APUs in any consumer grade devices any time soon.

However AMD silicon will be seen in tablets in the coming year in the shape of the low-power Hondo APU which features a 40nm process. Lisa Su, head of global products at AMD confirmed that Windows 8 tablets using the Hondo chip would arrive in 2012 with its successor codenamed Temash featuring the new Jaguar processing core arriving in 2013.

Realising what an important juncture in computing the technology market is entering, Read said: "We’re entering an inflection point in the market. We’ve got to see the opportunity in the market and execute on it. We have to build trust, change the architecture, and capture where the puck is going."

Source: Reuters and Ars Technica

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