AMD will consider Android but doesn't commit -- yet

World's second largest chip maker is open to Android but so far isn't making any public commitment.

An AMD-powered Windows-based HP SleekBook.  Hewlett-Packard, a large AMD customer, is turning increasingly to Android.
An AMD-powered Windows-based HP SleekBook. Hewlett-Packard, a large AMD customer, is turning increasingly to Android. Hewlett-Packard

Advanced Micro Devices will consider Android, but that's about all at this point.

Like Intel, the No. 2 PC processor maker has made its money selling chips that power Windows systems. Unlike Intel, however, AMD is not making any commitment to Android yet.

There's "no schedule for Android/Chrome support announced [and] no specific processors mentioned for support," an AMD spokesperson told CNET Wednesday.

But he added that "we have consistently said AMD is committed to applying our [intellectual property] anywhere where it makes sense for our business and our customers."

That's about as specific as AMD is getting right now about work on Android.

Principal analyst at Insight 64 Nathan Brookwood -- who follows AMD closely -- said he has seen no signs of AMD getting cozy with Android. "I know of no one who is doing anything with AMD and Android," he said.

Of course, that's just a snapshot of AMD today. If a large customer comes forward and asks AMD to commit, things could change overnight.

And that's not an unlikely scenario. Windows stalwarts like Hewlett-Packard and Asus are bulking up their tablet -- and in some cases laptop -- lineups with Android systems.

HP's SlateBook x2 is a laptop-tablet hybrid running Android as is Asus' Eee Pad Transformer.

Intel is now deeply committed to Android. Samsung -- as one example of many -- just announced the Android Galaxy Tab 3 with an Intel Atom processor and Intel 3G/LTE silicon inside. And the chipmaker's Atom phone strategy is completely predicated on Android.

The problem for Microsoft -- and by extension AMD -- is that the world is turning more and more to mobile devices like smartphone and tablets for their computing needs. And that means more Android -- as well as more iOS -- and less Windows.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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