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Is Hondo AMD’s John Wayne?

AMD says the first tablets based on the Z-60 will launch globally later this year in conjunction with availability of Windows 8

AMD is to going squeeze into what it calls the performance tablet market with a new low-power 40nm Z-60 APU for Windows 8 platforms that has a two-core CPU running at 1GHz. The chip, codenamed Hondo and really meant for notebooks or netbooks, has a thermal design envelop of 4.5W.

It reckons it can deliver a 10mm widget that both creates and consumes content.

Figure up to eight-hour battery life for web browsing and up to six hours for HP video playback.

The 80-core Radeon graphics on the 275MHz GPU supports full HD 1080p resolution.

AMD APU Specifications

APU Model

AMD RadeonTM Brand

TDP

CPU Cores

Clock Speed

AMD RadeonTM Cores

USB Support

L2 Cache

Z-60

HD 6250

4.5W

2

1 GHz

80

3.0

1MB

AMD's got apps for the tablet at its AppZone.

It'll support the latest Windows 8 applications and user interfaces, as well as legacy Windows 7 apps. The tablets will have options for keyboard or touchscreen input.

Steve Belt, corporate VP of ultra-low power products, said, "We see a large gap between the lower performance and high-price competitive offerings that allow AMD to be in tablet designs that will please our customers and end users alike."

AMD says the first tablets based on the Z-60 will launch globally later this year in conjunction with availability of Windows 8.

AMD's great rival Intel of course has got the dual-core 1.8GHz/2W Clover Trail Z2760 going into tablets from HP, Lenovo and Dell, the top PC vendors though AMD's graphics are thought to be better.

Both of them in turn have to worry about ARM. Intel claims its power consumption is better than the latest iPad and it's cutting prices to compete with ARM according to Anandtech, which seems to think it's the cheapest chip Intel has ever shipped and could hurt the rest of its business depending on how popular low-end tablets turn out to be compared to PCs or Surface tablets.

AMD's next shot at tablets will come with a 28nm Z-60 shrink and a move to the Jaguar microarchitecture that lowers power consumption. It could beat both ARM and Intel on margins but that's obviously a big "we'll see."

Intel's next shot will be the next-generation 22nm ValleyView SoC, which will come with a new architecture.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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