AMD preps low-power x86 Jaguar core for tablets

AMD is readying its low-power x86 Jaguar core for an August debut at Hot Chips 2012. 

The new processor core, which is expected to hit the market during the first quarter of 2013, is targeted at the lucrative tablet/netbook space. 

As Mark Tyson of Hexus notes, the low-power cores, like the rest of AMD’s current chip lineup, will be integrated into an APU die with a relatively powerful graphics processor expected to offer optimized system performance.

“The first utilization of Jaguar cores is expected within the Kabini and Temash 28nm APUs in low-cost, low-power tablets and netbooks,” writes Tyson.

“[In contrast], Intel’s rival Clover Trail Atom processors, launching later this year, are based upon 32nm transistors and paired with a less able graphics processor.”

However, AMD will likely ramp up its tablet promotion campaign long before Jaguar finds its way into devices, with a focus on Hondo, the first-gen ultra-low power APU built around 40nm Bobcat architecture.

Still, Hondo may be little more than a viable, functioning placeholder, at least in comparison to Jaguar. Indeed, Jaguar cores offer significant improvements in several critical areas, including IPC (instructions per clock), HSA (heterogeneous system architecture) and raw GPU performance.

“The Jaguar core looks promising for AMD, it will be really interesting to see what combination of performance and power consumption is on offer from Temash and Kabini when tablets and netbooks ship with these APUs,” Tyson explained. 

“[Really], the sooner the better for both AMD and for those more interested in x86 Windows 8 than Windows RT tablets.”