With the lukewarm reception of Windows 8, chipmakers are starting to elsewhere and even ultra-conservative AMD wants to keep its options open. The company is looking into Android and Chrome OS, more specifically into tablets and low-end clamshells.
AMD made it clear that it is interested in Android months ago. Intel is already starting to get the first high-profile design wins in the Android space and Nvidia has created an all-new business around the Tegra SoC. Unlike Nvidia, it doesn’t seem like AMD will design consumer application processor based on the ARM architecture, at least for now.
In a chat with PC World, AMD senior VP and general manager of global business units said AMD is “expanding its OS options” as it designs new x86 and ARM chips. The first crop of AMD’s ARM chips will be aimed at microservers rather than consumer products. In addition, AMD is expanding its custom chip business, which could benefit from the flexibility of Android and Chrome.
"We are very committed to Windows 8; we think it's a great operating system, but we also see a market for Android and Chrome developing as well," Su told PC World.
One of the first chips that comes to mind is Temash, AMD’s tablet centric implementation of the new Jaguar core. The first products based on the new SoC were showcased at Computex, but it is still unclear how many design wins AMD can score in the already overcrowded SoC market.
For the time being, vendors seem to be focused on Windows 8 tablets based on Temash, not Chrome or Android gear. However, that could change in a heartbeat.