CHIP DESIGNER AMD has released its embedded Hondo accelerated processor unit (APU) for Windows 8 tablets.
AMD already told The INQUIRER back at IDF that its upcoming Hondo chip will exclusively support Windows 8 and now the firm has released specifications on its first Hondo chip. The company announced its Z-60 APU, a 1GHz dual-core chip that sports 80 Radeon graphics cores and has a TDP of 4.5W.
AMD claimed that Z-60 tablets, with an S3 state that draws 0.08W, that sport a 30WHr battery can achieve 10 hours of battery life in Windows presentation mode with a claimed standby of two weeks. The firm also showed off a reference tablet that woke from sleep state in just under two seconds, which isn't quite Ipad-like speed but is pretty impressive for a full Windows 8 system.
As AMD's Hondo Z-60 chip will go up against Intel's Clover Trail Atom processors, the firm told The INQUIRER that it isn't all about raw compute power and that consumers consider the look of the designs when purchasing tablets. While AMD's comments might sound like those coming from a firm that knows it can't compete with Clover Trail, the truth is that few smartphones and tablets are sold by what chip is inside them, and AMD still believes that it has the upper hand when it comes to graphics performance with its Hondo APU over Intel's Clover Trail Atom chips.
AMD had some reference tablet designs on show at its IDF suite, however it wouldn't be drawn on specific design wins. The problem for AMD is that Intel has already shown off a number of Clover Trail designs. Despite recent rumours that Intel is suffering software delays, an insider at the firm has told The INQUIRER that Intel's chips and devices will be ready for Microsoft's Windows 8 launch, meaning that AMD hasn't got much wiggle room when it comes to having devices on the shelves.
AMD said it expects Windows 8 tablets with the Z-60 APU to cost upwards of $500, adding that they will cost less than Clover Trail tablets, but is still far from the cut-price Android tablets consumers have come to expect from Amazon and Google. Ultimately AMD's Hondo Z-60 APU chip will be judged not by outright performance but the devices it ends up in, and for that AMD needs its OEM partners to step up to take the fight to Intel's device makers and the many ARM vendors. µ
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