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AMD Eyeing Win 8 Launch For Tablet Processors

5/21/2012 12:01:00 AM Eastern

New York – AMD has reiterated its plan to enter the
tablet processor category, stating that the company
will have a low-watt processor ready when Windows 8
tablets begin to ship later this year.

Leslie Sobon, AMD’s product platform marketing
VP, said tablets are the obvious future growth area for
processors. The company announced its intention of
entering the tablet category in February, but it had not
stated before when this might happen.

AMD will focus on developing a sub-5-watt processor
for tablets running Windows 8 when that operating system
is released, Sobon said, adding that AMD will focus
on Win 8 devices because that OS is optimized to run
AMD’s Accelerated Processor Unit processors (APU).

However, AMD can also develop a processor for Android
devices if its developers request it, Sobon said,
noting that the Android tablet processor field, while
still small, is crowded, so the company is better off
focusing on Windows-based devices.

The company also introduced its second-generation
A-series APU, and the company will have a tablet processor
ready when Windows 8 ships later this year.

Trinity processors are directly targeted for use in
ultra-thin laptops. Sobon said the company is purposefully
taking a different angle in developing processors
for ultra-thin laptops than Intel is with its Ultrabook
concept. In order to obtain Ultrabook status, a laptop
must meet certain criteria set by Intel.

“We are not dictating anything to the vendors. We
feel the market is struggling due to a lack of differentiation,
and we want to help companies accomplish this,”
she said.

Sobon said AMD does make certain recommendation
on how an ultra-thin laptop should be constructed,
but it is not willing to issue specific instructions.

AMD said Trinity delivers twice the performance per
watt and an overall 29 percent increase in CPU performance
compared to the first-generation chip. This
is accomplished with AMD’s new Piledriver CPU core
that uses AMD’s third-generation Turbo Core technology
to shift power between the CPU and GPU depending
upon need.

Sobon described the new Trinity APUs as more of
a graphics processor than a CPU, and thus enables
better gaming and video playback.

Power savings enhancements with
Trinity can now deliver about 12 hours
of battery life, AMD said.

Of all the features Trinity will deliver
into the ultra-thin category, instant-on is
the most highly regarded by consumers,
according to AMD’s research, Sobon
said.

Trinity improves upon its predecessor
Llano processor by using half the
power, 17 watts and packing in 1.303
billion transistors onto the silicon, compared
with 1.178 billion. Trinity is scalable
upward to 100 watts for use in
traditional desktop computers.

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