AMD to show off Windows 8 tablet PCs using its Hondo chip at CES 2013

Summary:After a slow start to its latest tablet initiative, the chip company claims up to 10 design wins for its Z-60 processor.

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As long as it's taken Intel to properly enter the tablet game, it's taking AMD even longer to join the fray. While Intel's "Clover Trail" Atom is starting to show up in new Windows 8 tablets, AMD's Z-60 "Hondo" only has one official design win to date -- the forthcoming Fujitsu Stylistic Q572.  

But the chip company isn't giving up, and it now claims that it has earned anywhere from 6 to 10 design wins that it will formally introduce in January at the annual CES trade show. In comparison, Intel already has more than 20 design wins for Clover Trail.

Both companies were given an easier entree into the tablet market thanks to the version of Windows 8 that runs on x86 chips (whereas Windows RT makes use of ARM chips). The Z-60 is actually a laptop chip that's been tweaked for the tablet world -- as such, it has more impressive graphics capabilities, though battery life might be an issue. (See my colleague Adrian Kingsley-Hughes' breakdown of the Hondo here .)

AMD is already working on follow-up chips, Kabini and Tamesh, that are built using the new Jaguar core architecture and will purportedly bring performance and battery life improvements. 

The world will have to wait until the new year to find out exactly how many design wins AMD has earned for the Z-60 -- and if they will be powering cheaper Windows 8 tablets -- but it sure looks like processors are as important as ever, even in this "post-spec" age of devices.

Are you waiting to buy a Windows 8 tablet until you get one with an AMD Hondo chip, or does the processor manufacturer not matter? Let us know your what you think in the Talkback section below.

Topics: Tablets, Windows

About

Sean Portnoy started his tech writing career at ZDNet nearly a decade ago. He then spent several years as an editor at Computer Shopper magazine, most recently serving as online executive editor. He received a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from the University of Southern California.

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