We've always known AMD has wished to enter the ultra-portable market, however, thus far the firm has been mostly beaten to the punch by the likes of ARM and more importantly, arch rival Intel, who has recently announced its Clover Trail Atom processor for tablets and hybrids.
Not to be kept out in the cold, AMD has now unveiled its Z-60 1GHz dual-core mobile APU, previously codenamed Hondo. Much in the same manner as Intel, AMD is claiming that the Z-60 will deliver 10+ hours of active battery life and, most importantly, AMD is playing to its graphical strengths and is touting that the chip will deliver graphical performance five to six times that of Clover Trail's predecessor, Cedar Trail.
The Z-60 will support resolutions of up to 1,920 x 1,200 over HDMI and can run titles such as Modern Warfare 2 and Orcs Must Die at 1,024 x 768 on medium settings, thanks to its plentiful 80 Radeon cores. The firm has admitted that full, battery-friendly hardware video acceleration, is only possible at 720p, however.
With an active power consumption between four and five watts, this neat little APU is now cable of running fan-free, allowing it to be packaged into thinner devices. Again, as with Intel's Clover Trail, the Z-60 will be able to enter and exit power states quicker than before, reducing power wastage when in active standby, though the firm hasn't looked to implement any special power-levels like Intel this time around and it shows in AMD's figures, which claim a two week standby vs Intel's three and that 10+ hours of battery-life is based around a tablet running in 'Windows 8 Presentation Mode'.
The Z-60's unique selling points are powerful 1200p display support and built-in USB 3.0. AMD has taken the approach of implementing a low-clock dual-core processor and so it'll be interesting to see how this compares to the faster single core, found in Clover Trail. As with the high-end segment, there's a manufacturing gap, with Intel's Clover Trail running at 32nm, whilst Hondo is running on a rather dated 40nm.
Along the same lines as Trinity, AMD is claiming that it will undercut Intel prices with its Z-60 and that the chip will be shipping in tablets towards the end of this year.