When AMD introduced its low power C-series and E-series chips earlier this year, the company said it was initially focusing on netbooks and notebooks. That’s not to say the company was ignoring the tablet space, but at the time AMD had nothing to show. But now a leaked product roadmap shows the company may be preparing to launch its first tablet chips.
The current crop of AMD C-30 and C-50 chips are aimed squarely at Intel’s Atom chips for netbooks. Like Atom chips, these C-series processors consume under 9W of power while offering decent, but not spectacular performance for day to day tasks such as web surfing or editing documents. What sets these processors apart from Intel’s Atom chips are the integrated AMD Radeon graphics cores which can handle 3D graphics acceleration and 1080p HD video playback.
It looks like the company may be taking a similar approach to the tablet space, promising “the ultimate HD tablet” with its new AMD Fusion Z-Series chips, code-named Desna.
According to a series of leaked slides Desna chips will support DirectX 11 graphics, Adobe Flash Player video acceleration, and smooth streaming of HD video as well as hardware graphics acceleration for Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft Office 10, and Windows 7 visual effects. The chip maker envisions Z-series processors powering consumer tablets with support for gaming and HD media, as well as enterprise tablets with productivity software and security features.
There’s no word on the actual specs for the new Desna chips yet, but if AMD hopes to compete with tablets using next-generation Intel Atom Oak Trail chips or ARM-based processors, I suspect the Desna platform will feature low power consumption to offer long battery life.