AMD crashes Windows 8 tablet party with ultrathin hybrid
Trinity-based not-quite-ultrabooks could sell for US$500
AMD struggled to make itself heard above all the Intel Ivy Bridge noise at Computex this week, but did manage to introduce new E-Series APUs for the budget notebook and desktop market and show off a solitary Windows 8 tablet hybrid prototype running its new Trinity architecture.
The firm said its 2012 E-Series APUs – the chips formerly known as ‘Brazos 2.0’ – were designed with the sensible combination of long battery life, basic performance needs and accessible price point in mind.
The dual core E2-1800 (1.7GHz) and E1-1200 (1.4GHz) deliver 11 hours of resting battery life and the kind of enhanced Radeon graphics performance and gaming capabilities AMD usually touts for its CPU-GPU mash-up designs as well as faster data transfer.
The 40nm chips appear to share a similar design to their first iteration, which AMD said was the most successful notebook platform in its history, and are expected to feature in hardware from Acer, Asus, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba.
More interesting for the assembled masses was the run out for the firm’s recently announced second generation A-series Trinity APUs, in a prototype Windows 8 tablet.
Trinity is the successor to AMD’s Llano chips, providing up to 29 per cent more compute power thanks to their new Piledriver cores, according to the firm.
The new chips will of course help to spearhead AMD’s ‘ultrathins’ push to rival Intel’s Ultrabook category, and AMD SVP Lisa Su showed off a 11.6in prototype from Compal, coming in at just 10mm thick and detaching from the keyboard so it can also be used as a tablet.
The key differentiator for AMD’s push into the ultra-skinny laptop space is its price point, so despite the absence of whizz-bang announcements at Computex, ultrathins based on its chips could yet give the flashier Ivy Bridge Ultrabooks paraded at the show a run for their money.
“We can take Trinity and put it in a 17W VGA and it can give us over 10 hours of battery life … You’ll see a number of OEMs announcing systems with Trinity over the weeks to come together with Windows 7 as well as Windows 8 and it really allows us to change the game,” said Su.
“We can take to take the ultrathin, which is not limited by many different specifications, and really bring it down so that OEM can differentiate price points. We can go as low as $500.”
There's a decent video of the keynote here. ®
Re: Really AMD?
I disagree. Loads of people would love an ultrathin laptop. Pretty much all agree that they are over-priced. When AMD release their own version at a more sensible price, they'll wipe the floor with Intel. No casual or business user wants to pay an extra couple of hundred quid for processing power that they'll never use.
Also, people don't want to have to buy / use lots of different devices but many people want to be able to lie in bed and surf the web which tablets are suitable for. WIndows buyers are also more likely to want to do serious work on the device as well which, for many of us, means a real keyboard. So a hybrid will actually be a good seller, imo.
Plus the new APUs they have developed provide decent graphics and good enough processing with lower cost and power use. Really, I think AMD are looking at a winner here. My only caveat is that they should ensure they don't skimp on the screens. I don't mind if my laptop APU isn't as rawly powerful as an Intel processor because it's plenty good enough for what I use my laptop for. But I do care if it's a shoddy screen or skimped on elsewhere.
Re: Really AMD? @Richie 1
What utter cobblers. The graphics chips whether integrated or discrete have <u>never</u> been the limiting factor for the display - it always been cost.
Even the crappiest integrated graphics can drive the laptop display plus a 1080p monitor and they have been able to do so for years.
Re: Really AMD?
"For small device 12" screen with 900 lines is perfectly good resolution. "
That's a common cry but why, then, have Apple put a 2048x1536 pixel screen in a 10" tablet?
Those "retina" displays are very bright, sharp, and clear. The great thing about having a very high pixel count is that you can render text clearly in any size you like, not just the sizes that map onto whole numbers of pixels. You can also do anti-aliasing without any perceptible "fuzzing" around the edges of the characters.
There can't be much price difference between the different screens as Apple were able to introduce the new "retina" iPads at the same price point as the older iPad 2 ... so there is NO excuse for low resolution screens.
It'll be less under acceleration, no doubt.
Re: Really AMD?
"> My only caveat is that they should ensure they don't skimp on the screens.
This is my big wish too, but I think we may be disappointed."
I think you missed the point here. For small device 12" screen with 900 lines is perfectly good resolution. The problem is not in resolution, and we already know AMD will be better able to drive it than Intel in any case. The problem is with viewing angles and color reproduction; awful TFT used by so many laptop vendors simply has to go and one of the reasons (granted, far from top) iPad sales are beating laptops is great looking IPS screen.