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AMD's tablet strategy: Hondo chip, Windows 8

AMD missed the boat on smartphone processors, and like rival Intel, has fallen behind in the tablet chip wars. But with Windows 8 right around the corner, the company hopes to cash in with a new part that can power slates running the new OS.
Written by Sean Portnoy, Contributor on

AMD missed the boat on smartphone processors, and like rival Intel, has fallen behind in the tablet chip wars. But with Windows 8 right around the corner, the company hopes to cash in with a new part that can power slates running the new OS.

AMD is preparing a chip called Hondo to ship with Windows 8 tablets later this year. It's based on low-voltage Bobcat cores and a DirectX 11 GPU, but coming in at 4.5W, even the company itself acknowledges that it consumes a bit too much power.

As a result, AMD is already planning a less power-hungry follow-up, Temash, that will be a 28nm chip instead of 40nm like its Hondo predecessor. It will also use two new Jaguar cores, which will replace the Bobcat versions.

Along with Microsoft, AMD and Intel both have a lot riding on the Windows 8 tablet platform, since they've become laggards in the mobile space. Who will be the winner in the Windows 8 tablet chip wars, and will the Windows 8 tablet market be big enough to count that as a "major" win? Let us know your thoughts in the Talkback space.

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