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AMD set to take on the tablet market with new quad-core x86 SoC

AMD has launched its new A4-1350 APU (Accelerated Processing Unit), the second quad-core x86 architecture system on chip from the silicon manufacturer. 

An APU is a single chip built using a heterogeneous computing philosophy. It houses both the CPU and GPU, reducing the communication barriers between them and significantly improving performance and efficiency. 

The quad-core A4-1350 APU runs at 1GHz with a GPU clock base of 300MHz and is designed to run Windows 8 on tablets and hybrid devices efficiently. 

It will be able to handle HD media, as well as intensive graphics. AMD claims the graphical capabilities of the A4-1350 APU is as good as having a discrete graphic card. 

In terms of performance the A4-1350 APU is touted as being 172% faster in CPU performance-per-watt when compared to the previous generation. It’s also has 212% graphics performance-per-watt then before. Performance-per-watt is a way of measuring the power and efficiency of a processor, particularly important for tablet and laptops where battery life is important.

The increased efficiency means a battery life of up to 12 hours, that’s 45% more than the competition. 

There are some additional benefits to the A4-1350 APU such as extremely low levels of heat, meaning not a lot of cooling is required. 

If AMD’s claims are accurate it could see a raft of reasonably inexpensive but capable Windows 8 tablets and hybrids that won’t be under-powered like the Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2  or have the heat and noise issues of the Microsoft Surface Pro

The new APU is expected to begin shipping to customers in October 2013.