Advanced Micro Devices has no plans to support Google Android operating system with its Fusion accelerated processing units (APU) and for now its media and business tablet strategy is completely focused around Microsoft Corp. Windows 8 platform. While the latter operating system may someday dominate desktops and laptops, Apple iOS and Google Android are currently dominating media tablets.
Although several years ago AMD hired software specialists to explore Google Android operating system, which demonstrated interest of the company in supporting the platform, currently the firm does not plan to develop a software stack, which would allow its chips to work under Android OS. At present, Google Android operating system dominates smartphones and over time will likely dominate media tablets as well, thanks to support from major consumer electronics companies, including Samsung Electronics, Sony Corp. and others. By contrast, Microsoft Windows 8 only powers select business tablets that control just a fraction of the market.
Since the majority of Google Android-based media tablets utilize ARM architecture system-on-chips (such as Qualcomm Snapdragon, Nvidia Tegra, Samsung Exynos, etc.), which cost $25 - $40 per unit, AMD cannot successfully compete against such offerings with its Fusion APUs that cost considerably more. Therefore, AMD currently only targets tablets that cost $499 - $599 and over.
“AMD is looking to make a mark in tablets priced starting at around $499 or $599. We are betting heavily on Windows 8,” said Lisa Su, senior vice president and general manager of global business units at AMD, in an interview with IDG News Service.
Late last year AMD said that it had from six to ten tablet design wins and some of them would be demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show this week. However, only new one slate was announced by Vizio. In total, AMD’s Z60 chip (code-named “Hondo”) is currently found in two tablets: one by Fujitsu (which costs over $1000) and one by Vizio.
This quarter AMD plans to release code-named Temash APUs for tablets that will feature up to four x86 cores based on Jaguar micro-architecture, new-generation DirectX 11.1-compliant graphics adapter as well as a number of improvements related to heterogeneous processing and system architecture. Temash is expected to be more power-efficient than Hondo.