When netbooks hit the big time in 2008, chip maker AMD too a sort of wait-and-see approach. It wasn’t until this year that the company started to get serious about the budget ultraportable space, with the introduction of its new Nile platform that covers chips for low power 10 inch netbooks and for more powerful 11 and 12 inch models with higher performance graphics and dual core processors.
So it’s not that surprising to learn that AMD isn’t in a hurry to launch chips destined for tablets. While tablets with x86 and ARM-based chips are all the rage at the Computex trade show in Taiwan this week, let’s be honest. Right now there’s only one blockbuster tablet on the market: The Apple iPad. That could all change in the next few months as other companies start to bring devices to market. But it’s still a little early to tell whether the iPad shows there’s a huge demand for tablet-style devices… or just a demand for Apple branded devices.
DigiTimes reports that AMD is staying out of the tablet game for now, and instead plans to continue targeting its next-generation low power Bobcat chips at netbooks. The Bobcat platform should hit the market in 2011. Despite the oft-repeated mantra that the netbook is dead, AMD appears to have decided that the low cost ultraportable computer is here to stay… for at least long enough to warrant spending some R&D money on the platform. If tablets really do take off, I suspect we’ll see AMD make a move into the tablet space in another few years.