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AMD launches its response to Intel's tablet processor

Advanced Micro Devices enters the Windows 8 tablet market with the Z-60 processor.

Brooke Crothers Former CNET contributor
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.
Brooke Crothers
AMD's Z-60 tablet processor will compete with Intel's Clover Trail chip in the Windows 8 tablet market.
AMD's Z-60 tablet processor will compete with Intel's Clover Trail chip in the Windows 8 tablet market. AMD

Advanced Micro Devices has announced its answer to Intel's tablet chip, just as Windows 8 devices are about to flood the market.

AMD's Z-60 chip is being marketed as a chip for the "performance tablet" segment.

Translation: it's packing high-performance graphics silicon, which boasts 80 Radeon graphics cores, with the graphics processing unit (GPU) rated at a speed of 275MHz (see chart below).

Its two central processing unit (CPU) cores are rated at 1GHz.

The chip can be squeezed into designs as thin as 10mm, AMD said in a statement.

The first tablets based on the AMD Z-60 are expected to launch globally this year "in conjunction with availability of Windows 8," AMD said.

AMD's chip will be compatible with so-called "legacy" Windows applications -- which basically means it should be able to run any Windows 7 application. ARM chips from suppliers such as Nvidia and Qualcomm will not be able to handle those older Windows applications.

But AMD, of course, is going to have to do battle with chip Goliath Intel. Intel's tablet processor, the "Clover Trail" Z2760, has landed in a number of high-profile Windows 8 tablets and convertibles from Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and Lenovo, among others.

AMD Z-60 specifications (at bottom).
AMD Z-60 specifications (at bottom). AMD