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AMD Processor Roadmap Points To Tablets

Content to let rival Intel lead the way, AMD plans to release Krishna and Wichita accelerated processing units in 2012.
AMD's later entry does not mean the chipmaker is behind its rival. Instead, the company appears to be content in letting Intel be the first to prove that the x86 microarchitecture, a long-time standard in PCs, can be a player in tablets. Tablets available today, including Apple's iPad, use ARM processors, low-power chips that dominate the smartphone market.

Given ARM's early lead, it's going to take lots of marketing and technological skill on Intel's part to prime the tablet market for x86. "They're moving onto a highway where cars are already moving very quickly," Richardson said.

Once Intel creates a market, AMD is expected to move in with processors that follow the company's typical strategy of low cost and no-frills functionality that gets the job done. Both features will be important for tablets, which are relatively inexpensive and are less about the hardware, and more about running the software that differentiates individual products.

"I believe there's an opportunity for AMD in tablets," Richardson said.

AMD's roadmap includes more than tablets. The company plans also to release in 2012 a CPU code-named Terramar that will scale to 20 cores in mainstream two- and four-processor server platforms. For one- and two-core platforms favored in cloud computing environments, AMD plans to release a processor code-named Sepang that will scale to 10 cores.

For mainstream and performance laptops, AMD plans to release an APU code-named Trinity, which will be based on the Bulldozer microarchitecture. A Trinity APU also will be available for mainstream desktops.

Finally, its first Bulldozer core-based processor for hardcore gamers and computer enthusiasts will also ship in 2012. The chip is code-named Komodo.

SEE ALSO:

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AMD Unveils Bulldozer, Bobcat Microprocessor Details

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