AMD to "Investigate" Android in a Bid to Push Fusion into Tablets

AMD Bids on Windows, Investigates Android, MeeGo on Hold

by Anton Shilov
03/17/2011 | 09:53 PM

Advanced Micro Devices said that when it comes to operating systems for personal computers in tablet form-factor and the company's Fusion-series of highly-integrated processing devices, Microsoft Windows support is a priority operating system for the company. At the same time, AMD will definitely "investigate" Google Android operating system and watch MeeGo closely.


"As we look onto open-standards market, the Android certainly makes a tremendous amount of sense. That is something we will be investigating as we take our Fusion architecture [into new markets] and we are able to create versions of this architecture for lower power environments that would work quite well for, perhaps, a tablet using this operating system," said Neal Robison, senior director of content and application support at AMD, in an interview with X-bit labs due to be published on Friday.

The high-ranking officer of AMD is less positive about MeeGo, which was originally co-developed by Intel Corp. and Nokia Corp. Recently Nokia decided to switch to Windows Phone operating system and no longer has a priority to continue developing MeeGo, which naturally makes the future of the operating system rather uncertain.

"MeeGo is pretty interesting from a Linux perspective, and I think we need to see a little bit more market acceptance. We are going to be driven by folks, who actually make the compute devices, e.g., OEMs and hardware partners. [Once they release devices and show their interest], we are going to prioritize our R&D efforts accordingly," said Mr. Robison.

Later this quarter Acer will launch its 5745G hybrid tablet/netbook with limited edition AMD C-50 (1GHz) dual-core accelerated processing unit with 5W thermal design power (TDP) inside. The chip is a typical Ontario chip with some tweaks, e.g., different operation of input/output functionality, reduced amount of supported memory modules and some other, according to claims made by AMD in an interview earlier this year.

The tablet runs Microsoft Windows and for now this operating system is a clear priority for AMD. In fact, in order to fully take advantage of x86, Windows is needed and AMD's support for this OS is understandable.

"DirectX 11-capable GPU on a tablet would open up huge opportunities for developers who know how to use this API. It is going to require a cooperation with Microsoft, obviously; at CES they announced their intention to better support the tablet market, announced something that we are working together with them on," stated the head of ISV relations department at AMD.

Sometimes in 2012 AMD plans to release a special APU for slate PCs code-named Wichita. The chip will be made using 28nm process technology and will naturally feature more aggressive capabilities to trim power consumption than current-generation Fusion products, such as Ontario and Zacate.