According to a report from Digitimes on Monday, AMD is looking to develop Android drivers for its Fusion processors, which offer integrated graphics and memory controller on a single die with the CPU. According to the report, AMD will likely offer its PC vendor partners AMD chipsets with built-in support for Android.
The report cites industry sources saying MSI is preparing an upcoming tablet based on AMD’s Brazos APU platform, which is the low-power architecture within AMD’s broader Fusion family. The adoption of Brazos in MSI’s tablets reportedly underscores AMD’s intention to bring Fusion products to market inside tablets, as rival Intel last week entered the tablet market with initial shipments of Intel Atom Z670 Oak Trail processors, which are expected to be on shelves starting in May.
AMD declined to respond to a request for comment regarding the report.
In order to more effectively compete with Intel as well as rival graphics specialist Nvidia -- which currently runs on the Android platform in a number of tablets and smartphones that were on display at CES 2011 in January -- AMD is accepting applications to its Linux Base Graphics development team.
Intel began porting its x86 architecture to Android last April to better compete with leading mobile chip design firm ARM.
Android was initially developed to run chips based on ARM’s low-power processor designs. Although Intel has yet to offer its Medfield smartphone processors based on its x86 architecture, Intel CEO Paul Otellini in January said the company plans to run its x86 CPUs inside Windows 7-based phones.
Not to be outdone, Nvidia is following-up its successful Tegra 2 dual-core, mobile integrated graphics processors with its upcoming quad-core Nvidia Kal-El processors.
Meanwhile, AMD showed off its low-power Brazos APU platform as it shipped its first Brazos-based Llano processors in November. A week later, AMD joined the MeeGo open-source platform, a third platform option behind Windows 7 and Google’s Android OS that Nokia developed jointly with Intel. AMD’s interest in the MeeGo platform despite its rivalry with Intel underscores the chipmaker’s need to build Fusion support onto a variety of operating systems and form factors.