AMD Changes Attitude Towards Android: Set to Support the Platform

AMD Fusion Chips for Tablets Set to Support Android OS

by Anton Shilov
06/05/2013 | 08:00 PM

After a long time of supporting only Microsoft Corp.’s Widows operating system, Advanced Micro Devices is changing its stance towards Google Android and Google Chrome platforms. In a bid to become successful on the market of tablets, ultra low-cost personal computers and, perhaps, even smartphones, the company will support Google’s OSes.


"We are very committed to Windows 8; we think it is a great operating system, but we also see a market for Android and Chrome developing as well. […] I think Android and Chrome tend to be in the entry form factors—the tablets, the low-end clamshells,"  Lisa Su, senior vice president and general manager of global business units at AMD, reports IDG News Service.

Less than a half a year ago Ms. Su officially said that AMD would only support Windows operating systems with its system-on-chips for PCs, tablets and other devices. While Microsoft’s operating system dominates desktops and laptops, Apple iOS and Google Android are currently dominating media tablets.

Several years ago AMD already hired software specialists to explore Google Android operating system, which demonstrated interest of the company in supporting the platform. It looks like the chip designer has finally decided to develop a software stack, which would allow its chips to work under Android OS and even under much less popular Chrome 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 should also reconsider pricing of its accelerated processing units for media tablets to successfully compete against such offerings. AMD has so far targeted only targets tablets that cost $499 - $599 and over. Going forward, AMD will need to address lower price bands as well.

This week Samsung Electronics, the largest adopter of Google Android operating system on the globe, unveiled third-generation Galaxy Tab 10.1” slate with Google Android with Intel Atom “Clover Trail+” system-on-chip, which proves that there is a market of x86-based systems with the platform.