AMD has no plans to make smartphone SoCs


— 9:18 AM on July 1, 2013

According to a report by Gulf News, AMD will not follow rival Intel into the smartphone market. That word comes from Senior VP and General Manager Lisa Su, who said AMD considers tablets and hybrids to be important. That's as small as the company will go, at least for the forseeable future.

Right now, AMD's lowest-power mobile chip is the Temash-powered A4-1200. It has dual Jaguar cores clocked at 1GHz, a GCN-derived Radeon GPU clocked at 255MHz, and a 3.9W TDP. The processor should be reasonably potent, but its thermal envelope is about double that of Intel's existing smartphone SoCs. Even if AMD wanted to enter the market, it's probably a ways off from having competitive silicon.

Rather than getting into smartphones, AMD is looking for new opportunities elsewhere. Su mentioned that the PC market has spawned a lot of new form factors, suggesting that all-in-ones and tiny devices like Intel's NUC might factor into AMD's plans. The firm could certainly bring a dose of additional graphics horsepower to those types of systems, and that upgrade would fit in well with AMD's desire to play up its strengths.

AMD APUs are in the next-gen gaming systems from Microsoft and Sony, of course. Custom chips like those are expected to become an increasingly important part of AMD's portfolio, and Su claimed they'll make up 20% of the company's business by the end of the year. I wonder if AMD would consider designing custom smartphone-class silicon for a sufficiently large customer, perhaps using licensed ARM CPU cores instead of its own. That might be an attractive solution for a portable PlayStation or Xbox device.

Thanks to TechEye for the tip.

   
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