AMD Drops Consumer Windows Exclusivity, Targets Android, Chrome OS Devices
June 6, 2013 1:18 PM
Temash tablets should start landing by the end year's end
The world's second largest personal computer chipmaker, Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (
) at an interview at the
trade show in Taipei, Taiwan announced it would be ending a decade long policy of Windows exclusivity in OEM products.
While it will continue to produce chips for the Microsoft Corp. (
) operating system, which remains the world's most used PC OS, AMD announced it will also target devices using Google Inc.'s (
Chrome OS PC
or Android mobile operating systems. Currently AMD supports system builders installing Linux on servers, desktops, and laptop machines, but its consumer face -- all of its widely distributed OEM design wins -- is Windows exclusive.
AMD's move comes at a time when PC sales are
posting historic percentage decreases
amid poor reception
of Microsoft's latest OS,
. Meanwhile mobile usage -- particularly Android adoption -- continues to soar. The Linux kernel-based Android is
creeping towards the billion device mark
, an adoption base that would put it on the same level as Windows for the first time.
Intel Corp. (
), the top PC chipmaker
jumped on the Android train some time ago
(back in 2011). But the AMD campaign is unique, as the company is also plotting
a transition to ARM CPU cores
, potentially dumping the x86 architecture that it had championed for years alongside Intel.
AMD wants to plant its mobile seed on Android.
Prior to the ARM rollout -- which will likely land sometime late next year or in 2015 -- AMD is pushing out mobile-geared A4 and A6-branded processors with on-die GPUs that support DirectX 11 (on Microsoft operating systems). The latest Fusion chips,
will hover around 3.9 watts -- a slightly thirsty mark than Intel's upcoming
22 nm, quad-core tablet-geared Atom design
), which is
targeting the 1.5 watt mark
AMD's Lisa Su
, "We are very committed to Windows 8; we think it's a great operating system, but we also see a market for Android and Chrome developing as well."
AMD's Lisa Su plugs Android at Computex [Image Source: PC World]
fallen considerably behind Intel
in terms of single thread performance; however, it has
done a good job staying reasonably competitive
on the basis of price. Thus Android, which built its empire on out pricing Apple, Inc. (
), BlackBerry Ltd. (
), and other rivals, may be the perfect target for AMD.
AMD's Temash chip may offer a powerful budget option for Android tablet makers.
[Image Source: PC World]
The company underwent a
major leadership change in 2011
, dumping CEO Dirk Meyer over his unwillingness to tackle the mobile market. Earlier this year it was reported that AMD was
poaching engineers from Qualcomm
, Inc. (
) and Apple, hoping to accelerate these efforts.
Windows tablets in general continue to struggle; and to boot AMD's previous tablet chips the Z-01 and Z-60 saw deployment in only a handful of models. Thus AMD is essentially starting from the bottom when it comes to the tablet market -- and it's eyeing the market's second biggest player (Google) to help that bid.
Some analysts have predicted that tablets will
outsell PCs by 2016 or 2017
"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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