Right now the tablet market appears to be owned by Apple and the technology powering it is from ARM. Intel already announced intentions to compete head-on with a new Atom platform called Oak Trail.
AMD up to this point did not view the tablet market as a place for big opportunity. That attitude could be changing, especially after seeing how much success Apple's been having with its giant iPod touch.
AMD CEO Dirk Meyer believes that the iPad's success in the market wasn't a fluke and that tablets are here to stay.
"I expect we're going to see tablets in various form factors and thicknesses over time. From everything we understand today, it's still a pretty new market," Meyer said in the third quarter financials conference call.
As for what AMD's stance is on tablet hardware, Meyer continued, "A tablet would optimally have power dissipation of two to three watts, which is a little more than half of what a fanless Netbook would tolerate. I expect customers will take components designed with Netbooks in mind and put them in tablets. And I think you'll see AMD solutions in tablets in the next couple of years for that reason. … We'll show up with a differentiated offering with great graphics and video technology."
The tablet wave will be hitting in 2011 with iPad competitors, so wouldn't AMD already be late to the party if it doesn't already have a solution? Not in AMD's mind. Right now, the company's success comes from desktop and server processors.
"It's [a market] we'll devote significant R&D energy towards when the market is big enough to justify that investment," he added. "Frankly, we're still so small in the notebook market that it doesn't make sense for us to turn R&D dollar spending toward the tablet market yet. We'll start doing that when the market is big enough."