AMD Rolls Out Low-Power Mobile Chips for Tablets, Ultrathin Notebooks
The Elite Performance APUs—Richland—are for premium ultrathin notebooks, featuring the best graphics and compute performance, according to Shutter. That includes up to 12 percent better productivity performance and 20 to 40 percent better visual performance over their predecessors. In addition, the gaming performance of the APUs is 39 to 72 percent better. AMD is positioning the new APUs against current Core and Atom chips being offered by Intel, though the larger chip maker is readying new Atom releases later this year based on its upcoming "Silvermont" microarchitecture, which Intel officials have said will bring significant performance and power consumption improvements. Next month, Intel also will release the first of its new Core "Haswell" chips, which also will offer better energy efficiency and graphics. In response to a question, Shutter said AMD did not have any of the upcoming Intel chips for comparison purposes, but said that he didn't expect Intel's offerings to be able to outdo AMD's in graphics performance or battery life.In addition, AllDay Power offers greater battery life and Start Now brings faster boot-up. The new chips will be optimized for Microsoft's Windows 8 OS—including the upcoming Windows 8.1 "Blue"—but an AMD official in an interview with PCWorld left open the possibility of AMD chips eventually powering tablets running Android. In a response to a question during the press conference, Shutter said he expected the new capabilities in the AMD chips will help Microsoft gain traction in the mobile device space with Windows 8, but said that the software giant will "have to be more aggressive against Google and iOS" with more features and better pricing.
All of AMD's new chips will come with what officials are calling "mobile APU user experiences," features designed to make using these devices easier and more enjoyable. Among the features are AMD Gesture Control for controlling basic functions using hand gestures, Face Login for using facial-recognition technology to sign onto Windows and browser-based sites, and Screen Mirror for wirelessly sharing content on support TVs or displays. There also is Dock Port, which enables users to leverage up to four external monitors and sync to other devices via a single connection.