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AMD's 2014 mobile roadmap is built around low power, security logic

Mark Hachman | Nov. 14, 2013
All three AMD's new chips are designed for the convergence of PCs and tablets, where mobility and low power are prized as highly or more so than traditional performance metrics

Although Intel plans to take variants of the Bay Trail into smartphones, Gravning said "that's not a target with Mullins, no".

Analyst Dean McCarron noted that in the Windows tablet market, both AMD and Intel's X86 chips will go head to head. But in the larger tablet space, AMD and Intel are up against a number of low-power ARM chips. "X86 is on the outside looking in," McCarron said.

Both Beema and Mullins will use two to four cores. All three chips--Kaveri, Beema, and Mullins—also will include "GCN Graphics Compute Units," graphics cores that can do double duty as compute engines.

Securing tablets
Both Beema and Mullins will also contain AMD's first ARM-based security processor logic, a partnership struck in June of 2012.

The Cortex-A5 processor at the heart of the security processor uses the ARM TrustZone security technology to create a trusted environment that could be used for a variety of purposes, Gravning said, including creating a trusted environment for a corporate environment.

On the consumer side, the AMD Security Processor, as it's known, could be used as additional security for online purchases, assuming a developer taps into it, he said.

Intel has built in its own security technology since 2007. The Trusted eXecution Technology was added to the Core 2 Duo chip, and is marketed as part of Intel's vPro solution for businesses.

 

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