AMD teases tablet platform with 5.9W APU

Although I was lucky enough to hold the fort this year while Geoff roams the halls of Computex, I can smell the tablets from all the way across the Pacific. This year, even AMD has taken part in the tablet craze, announcing its 2011 AMD HD Tablet Platform and a new version of its Ontario APU primed for Windows-powered slates.

This new APU is dubbed the AMD Z-01, and it features a pair of Bobcat cores clocked at 1GHz. Here’s how the chip compares to the rest of AMD’s low-power Fusion lineup:

Processor CPU cores CPU clock GPU ALUs GPU clock TDP
AMD E-350 with Radeon HD 6310 graphics 2 1.6 GHz 80 500 MHz 18W
AMD E-240 with Radeon HD 6310 graphics 1 1.5 GHz 80 500 MHz 18W
AMD C-50 with Radeon HD 6250 graphics 2 1.0 GHz 80 280 MHz 9W
AMD C-30 with Radeon HD 6250 graphics 1 1.2 GHz 80 280 MHz 9W
AMD Z-01 with Radeon HD 6250 graphics 2 1.0 GHz 80 276 MHz 5.9W

In other words, the newcomer could be mistaken for a version of the C-50 tuned for lower power consumption. 5.9W still sounds a little on the high side compared to Intel’s new Atom Z670, though. The Z670 offfers x86 compatibility, integrated graphics, and 1080p output capabilities within a TDP almost half as small (just 3W).

Nevertheless, the new Z-01 chip has been adopted by MSI for its new WindPad 110W tablet, which purportedly has "the longest [battery life] of any tablet with Windows architecture." The 110W offers "six-plus hours of battery time" and complements the Z-01 with 2GB of DDR2 RAM, up to 64GB of solid-state storage and 802.11n Wi-Fi. I expect a relatively beefy battery accounts for much of the device’s 1.87-lb weight.

Comments closed
    • odizzido
    • 9 years ago

    Yet another processor perfect for a 9 inch laptop I would want that will never be in a single 9 inch laptop.

    • Meadows
    • 9 years ago

    [quote<]"110W tablet"[/quote<] Never before has naming been so unfortunate.

      • mutarasector
      • 9 years ago

      Funny, I thought the exact same thing. 🙂

      They may has well have simply called it a ‘Toaster Tablet’.

        • dpaus
        • 9 years ago

        [quote<]They may has well have simply called it a 'Toaster Tablet'[/quote<] Now that you mention it, the current generation of tablets [i<]do[/i<] bear a disturbing resemblance to mega-sized Pop Tarts. And yes, when I saw '110W' I thought the same thing too! Actually, I specifically imagined trying to hold a 1.5 lb 100W light bulb in my hand while working on it's surface...

          • September
          • 9 years ago

          I’m eating a Frosted Strawberry pop-tart as I read this.

          I think you have a great idea for a new product: “Mega-Tarts”

            • dpaus
            • 9 years ago

            Naw, once you’ve married one, they lose their appeal….

      • maxxcool
      • 9 years ago

      that is a terrible name… who wants a 110 watt pad ?

    • Sargent Duck
    • 9 years ago

    I have an E-350 as my main desktop, and I’ve been very impressed. Does everything you would expect from a desktop (word, email, youtube), plays hi-def and I can even do some very light gaming on it (Currently playing Defense Grid: The awakening. Although a simple tower game, playing on Grinder can result in A LOT of units on the screen at once). Haven’t had a chance to play any newer games, but I’m pretty sure it would play UT3 without a problem.

    If so, I’d be quite impressed with a Z-01 at that TDP, taking into account the reduced clock speed.

      • willmore
      • 9 years ago

      Keep us posted on how it does for light gaming. I’m looking for something like that for my next laptop. Thanks!

    • Duck
    • 9 years ago

    This would make a good home server chip with such low TDP and dual core.

    • NeelyCam
    • 9 years ago

    If Z-01 is dual-core, I’m not sure it makes sense to compare it to a single-core Z670…

    Another major question is, does the Z-01 do it all without the power-hungry (3-4W) controller chip the E/C/G-series chips require..? If so, Z-01 is a winner. If not, Z-01 is a loser until AMD makes a lower-power companion chip…

      • Palek
      • 9 years ago

      ^This. All this talk of low power is meaningless without providing numbers for total platform power consumption. AMD and intel, how about including controller hubs and SDRAM in the figures, eh?

        • NeelyCam
        • 9 years ago

        FYI – these folks say that Oak Trail platform power is 3.75W (so the “chipset” is 0.75W):

        [url<]http://www.nordichardware.com/news/69-cpu-chipset/42904-intel-launches-oak-trail-with-atom-z670-for-portables.html[/url<]

        • sschaem
        • 9 years ago

        Not only that, but what is better ?
        a 3 watt platform that takes 4 second to load a page, or a 5 watt platform that takes 2 second to load the same page ?
        Hint, the 5w platform will use smaller battery and last longer… maybe upto twice as long in intensive workload.
        So Higher TDP == longer battery life, lighter devices and faster feedback.

        We need task energy (efficiency) VS meaningless TDP.

        One could be avg watt for a reference set of test video content.

          • Arag0n
          • 9 years ago

          Surprisingly, I totally agree with you.

          It’s not a matter of how much TDP has a piece of silicon but the average power required. If AMD can handle to have an average power consumition lower than Oak Trail despite having twice the TDP then it’s a good a thing. Just TDP vs TDP it’s meaning less.

          That’s something that NVIDIA pushed so hard with Tegra promotions and dual cores, showing that a dual core can do the same task that a single core does with half the frequency and use less power in average despite having higher max TDP if both cores are full loaded.

          • mutarasector
          • 9 years ago

          re: “We need task energy (efficiency) VS meaningless TDP. ”

          Good point. An overall ‘platform efficiency’ factor might also be needed (I would think) since an x86 tablet platform would more likely be able to run different OSes, or at be rooted.

          • nico1982
          • 9 years ago

          Isn’t TDP a quite substantial factor in the design of the cooling system? You can be four times more efficient than the competition, but if your chip produce twice the heat at any give time, it is unlikely to comfortably fit in a chassis just as thin. Tablets aren’t going to become larger and thicker, that’s for sure.

            • mutarasector
            • 9 years ago

            re: “Tablets aren’t going to become larger and thicker, that’s for sure.”

            The difference between ‘slates’, ‘pads’, ‘tablets’ is still rather murky and nebulous being a nascent market, but I suspect there will still be larger thicker mobile PCs w/touchUI interfaces that will try to capitalize on the ‘tablet’ craze by applying or ‘back-porting’ the tablet label to their form factor.

            Being more powerful (hence more usable for some than the thin shiny play-toy variety), TDP is still a substantial factor w/regard to battery type/size and cooling systems used in those particular ‘tablets’, but not quite as critical. At some point, the TDP metric becomes a bit of tail-dog wagging.

          • maroon1
          • 9 years ago

          Do you have any evidence that it takes 4 second to load page, while the other takes 2 second ?

          You are making assumptions from your mind.

            • Corrado
            • 9 years ago

            Pretty sure it was hypothetical. We don’t know ANYTHING about these platforms really yet.

    • dpaus
    • 9 years ago

    This is impressive progress, but AMD themselves have identified 3 Watts as ‘the sweet spot’ for tablet applications (sorry; ‘2.99999 Watts’)

    Well done, folks, now get back into the lab and cut it in half again!

    EDIT: isn’t the Atom Z670 a single core with crappy graphics? Hardly a fair comparison…

      • NeelyCam
      • 9 years ago

      [quote<]EDIT: isn't the Atom Z670 a single core with crappy graphics? Hardly a fair comparison...[/quote<] Yes (although it does play 1080p video).

      • mutarasector
      • 9 years ago

      Like I said before, AMD is stepping down to a lower TDP rather quickly since the Bobcat launch.

      I think you hit it right on the head – it’s probably the next (Wichita?) die shrink to their 3W sweet spot.

      NeelyCam brought up a good point however, will these Desna APUs get a retooled FCH that also sips power, and with tablet specific support? I tend to think they most likely will provide this, but what also interests me is AMD going to offer a quad core tablet variant as well? I would think they’d better since Tegra 3 being quad core, and AMD’s Desna processors may see Tegra 3 as their next major opponent in the Silicon Fight Club.

      According to the AMD roadmap slides,

      [url<]http://www.engadget.com/2010/11/11/amd-publishes-cpu-roadmaps-through-2012-runs-a-quad-core-bulldo/[/url<] ... it's unclear if Wichita APUs will get 1-4 cores variants, or if the division between Krishna and Wichita is going to be a >2 cores='Krishna', with <2 cores='Wichita'. The promising sign however is that even now, Zacate and Ontario, and now Desna show a lateral SKU speciation already on a 40nm process. I can only assume this lateral speciation will continue (and hopefully even more so) at 28nm.

      • maroon1
      • 9 years ago

      Atom Z670 is single core with hyper-threading. Also, the graphics is based on PowerVR SGX535 clocked at 400Mhz (intel call it GMA 600), and it can play 1080p HD videos

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