updated 10:40 pm EDT, Thu April 7, 2011
AMD recruiting for Android work
A slip detailing Computex show launch plans may have given away AMD's plans to get into Android in earnest. Industry contacts claimed AMD has been recruiting engineers to write Android drivers. The move is likely the first step before offering chipsets for notebooks and more likely tablets that work with Google's platform, Digitimes also heard.
Intel has already been involved in supporting Android, but AMD until now has been mostly reticent about the platform without much to offer in suitable processors. Its Fusion-based processors, which often chew just a few watts of power while keeping decent graphics, may be the first suitable to tablets.
Other companies are expected to show in force at Computex but to dwell both on AMD- and Intel-based tablets. MSI will likely show the existing, Fusion-based WindPad 110W running Windows 7, but Fujitsu, Lenovo, and Samsung should all use the just-shipping Oak Trail platform. It's unknown how many would be genuinely new creations versus retreads of existing designs.
Regardless of platform, the tipsters didn't expect any tablets using AMD or Intel processors, or any using Windows, to be a viable challenger to the iPad 2. Apple's strong out-of-the-gate sales meant that even a runaway hit from one of these wouldn't be a challenge for "at least" six months, they said. The commentary was likely part speculation but echoed Microsoft's private strategy for putting off any direct competition with Apple until Windows 8 arrives in late 2012.