AMD Launches Low-Power Beema, Mullins Notebook, Tablet APUs
AMD is looking to fan that interest by improving the user experience, officials said. Along with the performance gains, AMD also is adding greater security capabilities to Beema and Mullin. Included is what AMD calls its platform security processor (PSP), which is based on the Cortex-A5 architecture from ARM which includes ARM's TrustZone data security technology. The APUs represent AMD's first x86-based chips to feature ARM technology. AMD officials first announced its embrace of ARM's TrustZone technology last year. The PSP enables the chips to handle sensitive data and trusted apps—such as online payments and Web-based services—in a more secure manner than other workloads.Roger Kay, principal analyst with Endpoint Technologies Associates, said Beema and Mullins represent the latest step in AMD's continuing turnaround effort the last couple of years under CEO Read. That effort includes extending into new growth areas, including ultraportable client devices. "They've been more consistent since Rory's been on the scene," Kay told eWEEK. "They've come out with some good products." AMD's challenge is to continue developing these products, and making sure they get them to market on time. System makers are always anxious for another chip supplier beyond Intel, and if AMD can fill their demand for good processors in a timely fashion, the OEMs will be willing to use AMD silicon in a percentage of their portfolios, he said. "They've had enough little stumbles here and there, so there's some caution about that," Kay said, adding that the new chips appear good enough to make it into some system designs. Some vendors, including Samsung and Lenovo, reportedly already have released new systems based on Beema and Mullins.
Other features aimed at users include gesture controls for control of systems using hand gestures, facial recognition technology, Quick Stream for uninterrupted streaming video and Perfect Pictures for improved image quality. In addition, AMD is leveraging its partnership with BlueStacks, which offers software optimized for AMD to enable an Android experience on Windows PCs.