A Windows 8 tablet with the Z-60 will provide 10 hours of battery life on a single battery charge, eight hours of web continuous browsing, and six hours of 720p video, according to AMD's benchmarks. A tablet will boot up Windows 8 in 25 seconds and resume from sleep in just two seconds. The chip is based on the CPU core code-named Bobcat, which is also used in AMD's low-power C-series and E-series netbook chips.
Intel has made an Atom chip code-named Clover Trail for tablets, which will also offer 10 hours of battery life. AMD said that existing applications will work with its chips. Existing Windows applications will not work with ARM-based tablets with Windows RT, like with Intel's Clover Trail chip.
Hondo's success is important to AMD, which is heavily reliant on the slumping PC market. The Z-60 chip will succeed the earlier dual-core Z-01, which was released in June last year and drew around 6 watts of power. However, the chip was considered a failure as it appeared in only a handful of tablets such as MSI's WindPad.
The lack of a tablet market strategy was one of the reasons that led to the former AMD CEO Dirk Meyer's resignation in early 2011. AMD appointed former Lenovo exec Rory Read as the new CEO in August last year, and he has made the tablet market one of his top priorities. Earlier this year, the company ripped up its old chip roadmap, and introduced a new strategy for tablet, server and PC chips. Hondo is based on the company's old chip roadmap, but the company plans next year to release a new tablet chip code-named Tamesh, which will be based on the faster and more power-efficient Jaguar CPU core.
Hondo is still not on the same playing field as tablets with Intel's Clover Trail or ARM processors, and AMD understands this, McGregor said.
"On the positive side, AMD is still delivering new products. On the negative side, the size of the market is unclear for this product," McGregor said.