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AMD announces Z-60 chip for tablet PCs

AMD is the brand people sometime look to when they’re asking themselves: “Which one of these will give me the most bangs for my bucks.”  Intel has already announced its Z2760 (Clover Trail) Atom for upcoming Windows 8 tablet PCs, so it’s only natural that AMD will respond with its own tablet-targeted APU.

AMD’s response to the Z2760 is the Z-60, and just like the desktop CPU battles, the marketing rants and speculations about which SoC will best the other have already begun.

Without any real benchmarks available for comparisons, we don’t really know for sure if Intel’s Z will be better than AMD’s.  For now, however, we do have some official numbers which may be of use to enthusiasts who are looking into picking a Windows 8 tablet PC later this year. 

Starting with AMD, the Z-60 is a 1.0GHz dual core, with a 4.5W TDP, and 1MB of L2 cache.  Graphically, the Z-60 packs a Direct X 11 capable Radeon HD 6250 with 80 cores.

Intel’s Z2760 is also a ULV dual core with 1MB L2 cache, but with the exception that OEMs can clock it up to 1.8GHz.  The purported TDP for the Z2760 is around 2, making Intel’s Z much more efficient thermally—at least that’s what the number is telling us.  On the GPU front, the Z2760 has the integrated PowerVR SGX 545, and while we would all love to see the GPU clock numbers, we’ll leave that alone for now because apples and oranges usually don’t play nice with each other.

As for the fabrication process, AMD’s Z is built on the 40nm process, whilst Intel’s is on the 32nm process.  Both AMD and Intel are expecting their tablet chips to render around 9-10 hours of battery life.

It is unknown at the moment what the price differences will be between the two chips, but if the trend continues as it did in the past, then AMD will surely try to undercut Intel through its pricing structures. 

Intel’s Atom-based Windows 8 tablets are targeting business level consumers, but we’re speculating that AMD’s Z-60-based tablets will be aimed at average PC consumers instead.  Carrying this conversation a little further, we can speculate that AMD’s Z-60 will be competing with Intel’s mobile Core iX chips, and not so much the Clover Trail chip.    

Windows 8 is due out in less than a month with tablet PCs to launch alongside or shortly the new OS.  Get your benchmarks and spreadsheets ready, because new toys mean new ways to prove to your friends that your chip is better.

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