AMD finally unveils dual-core tablet chips


AMD has finally followed Intel into the tablet market and revealed a low powered dual-core chipset, as the firm aims to generate revenue from the handheld market.

The AMD Z-60 Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) will have a dual-core 1GHz processor, 80 Radeon cores as well as support for USB 3.0, 1080p playback and HDMI output.

The chipset will support the full version of Windows 8, allowing business users to run legacy applications, much like Intel's Clover Trail architecture. AMD is also pushing the fact that the chip will fit into 10mm form factors.

Other key features will include AMD Start Now technology, which involves optimisation at the BIOS level to enable quick boot and resume times. In terms of battery life, AMD claims six hours of HD video playback, and up to eight hours web browsing.

With ARM-based designs such as the Apple A6 and Samsung Exynos processors dominating the tablet market, it remains to be seen whether AMD will be able offer enough differentiation.

With Intel already having a head-start over its chief rival in the tablet market, and offering many of the same features such as legacy application support, it looks like pricing could be the key differentiator.

"Tablet users seeking an uncompromised experience for both creating and consuming content on the Microsoft Windows 8 platform now have a performance-driven, affordable option with the AMD Z-60 APU," said Steve Belt, corporate vice president of ultra-low power products at AMD.

The AMD Z-60 is shipping today, but there is no set date for the release of tablets. AMD expects devices with the chipset to be launched before the end of the year.

Khidr Suleman is the Technical Editor at IT Pro, a role he has fulfilled since March 2012. He is responsible for the reviews section on the site  - so get in touch if you have a product you think might be of interest to the business world. He also covers the hardware and operating systems beats. Prior to joining IT Pro, Khidr worked as a reporter at Incisive Media. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.