AMD Decides to Go Mobile, Finally - The UpStream

AMD Decides to Go Mobile, Finally

posted Sunday Jun 5, 2011 by Jon Wurm

AMD Decides to Go Mobile, Finally

Yes, finally an article about a chips manufacturer that doesn't start with an 'I' and end with 'ntel'. Most of us have been wondering if AMD would ever make an appearance in the mobile market so it was a delight to get some information on the Z-series chips that AMD plans on making a debut with. Better late than never, hopefully it's not too late.

They call the architecture for this chip family 'Fusion' and it is meant to transplant the full PC experience to tablets. They are also doing something interesting by designing the Fusion chips to support Windows 7 and Android. The reasoning for this is that Android has a wide variety of applications and basically dominates the mobile space. On the other end of the spectrum you have Windows 7 which is a must for business. By focusing on the two they intend to cover their bases. According to Chris Cloran, Vice President and General Manager of the computing solutions group, the transition between both operating systems is seamless.

Get ready for some specs after the break.

Getting into some numbers here, the first Z-series chip runs 1Ghz dual-core with a 40nm process while sipping 6 watts of power. It wouldn't be AMD without some graphics support which is why DirectX 11 and high definition outputs will be supported as well. At Computex MSI is demoing the WindPad which is a Windows 7 tablet that's sporting the Z-series chips along with 2GB of RAM and up to a 64GB SSD. I'm wondering if this will get any attention in a sea of Intel and ARM components that are on display at Computex. Next year AMD is scheduled to release the Wichita and Krishna processors which will use a 28 nm process and 4 cores. These will be geared toward tablets as well.

AMD is an innovative, forward looking company, so not having the first mover advantage in the mobile market might not be a permanent setback for them. I like the idea of chips supporting multiple operating systems on tablets. It ads some much needed versatility and will help them move up from secondary consumption devices. It will be fun to see how their transition into the mobile market continues.


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