AMD to Make a Tablet Chip in the Future

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."

Source: Cnet.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
    With AMD + ATI technology, they probably have a good chance of success.
  • I think their first priority should be making sure Bulldozer can match the performance of Sandybridge core to core. Then they can worry about expanding into new markets when they are not playing catch up in their primary business.
  • Parsian
    AMD please focus on improving core performance, you are losing server market...
  • nforce4max
    If they didn't have their head up their rear they would already have one ready to go. I would love to see an AMD powered Andriod Tablet with decent gpu. Current Andriod Tablets are lacking in speed.
  • damasvara
    Yes, I can see it now... cheaper AMD Pads, no wait, they'll be sued by Apple if they use the "Pad" trade mark. AMD Tabs? That one sounds like a web browser extension... lol
  • ares1214
    I think its a smart move, as they are right, the tablet market isnt big enough yet. By the time they get something to show for their research, maybe 2-3 years from now, it will be much more popular, and therefore more worth the investment.
  • i need a windows 7 tablet now so i can run EJukebox in front of my hdtv instead of on it!
  • bmadd
    was this not inevitable? These is money to be made and companies generally like to make money
  • kelemvor4
    I think their first priority should be to sell off the graphics division and return to profitability.
  • dreamer77dd
    Their graphic is more profitable then their cpu, selling that section of their company would not be smart. I think splitting up their focus on a tablet pc or anything like that is a waste of time. It to much of a small market and who the hell once one. I hate tablet pc, dont waste your time on those things, the world market is still desktops, laptops and servers, inculding phones but all you really need is 1 or 2 things 2 make a profit.