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AMD reveals new tablet & Windows 8-friendly Z-60 APU chipset

Ahead of the imminent arrival of Windows 8 and Windows RT, AMD has unveiled its new "Hondo" Z-60 chip (opens in new tab) in an attempt to make waves in the tablet and small form factor PC market amidst fierce competition from rivals like Intel and Nvidia.

The dual-core processor, which incorporates a 80 Radeon HD 6250 GPU for optimised video playback and gaming, is AMD's lowest power APU to date, notching a thermal design power (TDP) measurement of 4.5 watts.

Expected to feature in tablets with at least 10mm of thickness, the Z-60's speed is predicted to clock at 1GHz and the chipset is lined up with 1MB of L2 cache. Additionally, the Hondo is fully compatible with HDMI external display outputs, USB 3.0, and AMD's native quick start/resume system, Start Now, not to mention Microsoft's latest graphics technology, DirectX 11.

"Tablet users seeking an uncompromised experience for both creating and consuming content on the Microsoft Windows 8 platform now have a performance-driven, affordable option with the AMD Z-60 APU," stated Steve Belt, corporate vice president of AMD's Ultra-Low Power Products division.

"We see a large gap between the lower performance and high-price competitive offerings that allow AMD to be in tablet designs that will please our customers and end users alike," he added.

The processor is already shipping to customers, and is likely to feature in a number of the tablets being launched in the immediate aftermath of the introduction of Windows 8, which will reach general availability 26 October. According to Gary Silcott, an AMD spokesman, a tablet incorporating a Z-60 chip could potentially be released this month.

Pricing has not yet been revealed, but the importance of the chip's success to AMD - the firm has only recently made the tablet market a real priority - suggests it will be very competitive.

Aatif is a freelance copywriter and journalist based in the UK. He’s written about technology, science and politics for publications including Gizmodo, The Independent, Trusted Reviews, Newsweek, and ITProPortal.