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AMD announces Z-60 APU for tablets

Promises playable frame rates in Call of Duty and 10+ hours of battery

AMD has announced the launch of its latest APU designed for tablets and small form factor PCs. The Z-60 combines a dual-core 1GHz processor core with Radeon HD 6250 integrated graphics, which AMD claims will last up to ten hours on battery power and outperform rival Intel’s current generation Cedar Trail processors as much as six times over in terms of graphics.

The Z-60 will support 1,920×1,200 resolutions over HDMI and, according to AMD, can run newer games such as Modern Warfare 2 and Orcs Must Die ant 1,024×768 on medium settings. It fully supports DirectX 11, but can only hardware accelerate video at 720p.

APU table

Currently only one Z-series APU has been announced – the Z-60

Using between four and five watts of power, the chip can be cooled passively without the need for a fan, and fit inside tablets as thin as 10mm. AMD Start Now technology will allow for fast boot and resume from sleep times, as well as last two weeks in standby mode.

Other benefits over the existing ARM and Intel processor ranges include built-in USB3 support, although the larger 40nm process compares badly to Intel’s thinner 32nm fab.

“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,” Steve Belt, AMD’s corporate VP of Ultra-Low Power Products, said of the launch. “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.”

Z-series APUs currently aren’t planned to be made available to the public – they began shipping to tablet manufacturers today, so you’ll have to wait until tablets appear later in the year to see whether AMD can pull back some ground in the ultra-portable market.

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