Advanced Micro Devices’ efforts to gain a foothold in the fast-growing tablet market got a boost, with Fujitsu incorporating AMD’s Z-60 chip in its new Stylistic Q572 tablet.
AMD officials announced Oct. 22 that Fujitsu is using their accelerated processing unit (APU) in the 10.1-inch Windows tablet. The announcement came less than three weeks after the embattled chip company first unveiled the Z-60, which had been code-named Hondo. The tablet is expected to launch after the Oct. 26 release of Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system.
Officials with the chip maker played up the performance and energy-efficiency capabilities the Z-60 will bring to the Q572 tablet.
“We believe Fujitsu’s customers will be thrilled with the combination of features, performance and battery life we worked together to provide in this very appealing system,” Steve Belt, vice president of ultra-low-power products at AMD, said in a statement.
Like larger rival Intel and systems makers Hewlett-Packard and Dell, AMD is being significantly impacted by slowing PC sales, caused in large part by the troubled global economy, the rapid adoption by consumers of mobile devices like tablets and smartphones, and the anticipation over the upcoming release of Windows 8.
However, while Intel has been aggressive over the past couple of years in pursuing the mobile device space, AMD’s pivot in that direction has lagged. Disagreements between the company’s board and former CEO Dirk Meyer—in part over AMD’s mobile strategy—led to Meyer’s resignation early in 2011, and it wasn’t until August that Rory Read was chosen to succeed him.
Read has overseen efforts to reduce expenses at the company—including cutting more than 2,000 jobs over the past year—and is looking to reduce AMD’s reliance on PCs and focus more resources in other areas, including ultra-thin computing devices, embedded systems and servers for dense data center environments. The X-60 chip is part of that effort, and AMD officials said during a conference call with analysts and journalists Oct. 18 that they expect at least 125 system designs based on Windows 8 and AMD chips to hit the market later this year and next.
In an Oct. 8 post on AMD’s blog, Belt said that the Z-60 will offer performance and price advantages over tablet chips from both Intel and ARM, whose chip designs currently are found in most tablets on the market.
“The AMD Z-60 APU aims to hit that evasive sweet spot that marketers always talk about, but in this case a pretty compelling case can be made for AMD’s argument,” Belt wrote. “Tablets from AMD’s technology partners in form factors as thin as 10mm are expected to hit the market later this year. They are being designed to provide that balance of price, performance and battery life that delivers an experience that will keep users coming back.”
Fujitsu’s Stylistic Q572 offers the 10.1-inch high-definition screen, multi-touch capabilities for up to 10 fingers, a digital pen, high-definition cameras on both the front and the rear, and a battery that can be removed by the user. The tablet weighs about 1.6 pounds.
The Z-60 chip supports such Fujitsu features as an integrated Smart Card and the removable battery, according to AMD. The chip also enables users to use the full range of Windows PC programs, and offers security through such features as the trusted platform module and hardware-based disk encryption.