And so the rivalry between Nvidia and AMD continues. For those of you who don’t know, Nvidia’s been responsible for the CPUs on most of the modern Android tablets. If a recently leaked roadmap is to be believed, AMD is throwing in with rival Microsoft for the upcoming Windows 8 Tablets. Do note that this one’s a rumor, folks- don’t get too excited yet.
The Turkish tech website donanimhaber recently posted slides detailing what they claimed were AMD’s rather lofty goals in the tablet chipset market. According to the website’s slides, the company’s planning to launch its second generation of chips in 2012.
Code-named Hondo, these are some powerful SoCs AMD’s packing here. The dual-core, 1 GHz processor will be coupled with a Radeon HD 6250 graphics chip, which will be capable of handling advanced Direct X 11 graphics. I like what I’m hearing so far, and we’re only halfway done.
The name of the game is apparently efficiency. It’s looking like AMD plans to do away with features better suited to laptops or desktops; such as VGA output, PCI support and multiple USBs. Instead, it’s going to focus on reduced power consumption, with a built in “active standby” facility which will allow Hondo devices to maintain an active Wi-Fi connection with immensely reduced power consumption. Not sure I like the fact that they’re doing away with a lot of Laptop PC features- but I don’t see HDMI on that list, so those who want to use their tablets as multimedia devices might be alright. Ultimately, it’s pretty clear what AMD is doing here- they’re taking every step possible to tailor their SoC to the tablet architecture.
So, we’ve got a fairly high-end SoC here, which seems to be centered around reducing the amount of power consumed by the tablet’s operation. But just how much power will AMD’s measures save? Evidently, “App power” has been halved from the AMD Desna chipset, dropping down to a paltry 2W- and that’ll only be when it’s playing 720p video. What’s more, the chipset is designed so that it produces very, very little heat- the sort of design perfectly suited to run in devices that don’t contain cooling systems; like tablets.
A lot of you are probably wondering where Microsoft comes in.
Well, according to FoneHome, as well as the tablet roadmap leaked on donanimhaber, the stated launch date of Hondo very curiously coincides with the proposed launch date of Microsoft’s Windows 8 Tablet OS. That very, very strongly suggests that the Windows 8 tablets are going to be running this innovative new piece of tech. I’ve gotta say, I’m inclined to agree with them on this one- I don’t think the fact that the launch dates of the two are accidental. There’s no way they could be.
Again, this is assuming donanimhaber’s information checks out. Word is that the site’s pretty good for getting rumors about AMD that checks out, but you never know- this could be the one time where they miss the mark.
Guess we’ll just have to wait for 2012 to roll around to know for sure, won’t we?
The PCMech.com weekly newsletter has been running strong for over 8 years. Sign up to get tech news, updates and exclusive content - right in your inbox. Also get (several) free gifts.