CES 2013: AMD Spotlights A-Series Processors, First Tablet

Discrete graphics in laptops are becoming more and more difficult to find. AMD is looking to remedy that with its 8000M series. Four models will fill out the lineup, and some already are shipping in Asus and Samsung machines, with more OEMs slated to follow.

Specwise, the 8000M series makes the requisite performance gains, but the real gains come in terms of power management. These cards consume no energy when idling. Impressive stuff.

After talking up its discrete GPU options, AMD turned to its A-series APUs. 2013 will bring along four new iterations. Temash will attack the tablet market. Kabini will slot into the low-end laptop and hybrid market. Richland is already shipping to OEMs and will add performance to already familiar A-series products. We also received a sneak peek at Kaveri, the next-generation of A-Series APUs.

Temash will ship in the first half of 2013 in both dual- and quad-core designs. It's the first true quad-core system on a chip on the x86 platform, at least it is if it beats Intel's new quad-core Atoms to market. The APUs should allow OEMs to build fanless tablet designs with Windows 8.

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Kabini A4 and A6 chips will deliver performance gains of roughly 50 percent over previous-generation AMD chips that targeted lower-end machines. This is traditionally a space of strength for AMD, so there should be a positive reception to Kabini chips when they ship in the first half of the year.

Kaveri, launching in the latter half of 2013, will be built on a new 28nm Steamroller architecture and is the next generation of the APU. With the new processing core, Kaveri could double even Richland's performance, itself already seeing 20 percent to 40 percent gains on last year's model.

After the APU news, AMD switched gears. The company touted its new relationship with Vizio, showing off a gorgeous all-in-one, two laptops and the very first AMD- powered Windows 8 tablet. That last one is the most interesting. The machine has an 11.6-inch, 1,080p screen and is powered by a 1GHz Z60 processor. Availability and pricing still have not been revealed, but it is expected to be competitive with Intel-based tablets.