AMD shows off a reference device with a quad-core, x86-based Temash chip

@ 2013/01/11
Earlier today AMD's director of global business units marketing, John Taylor, joined us on our CES stage to talk chips. Specifically, tablet chips, and laptop chips, and chips for products that have elements of both. While he was up there, Mr. Taylor flashed a reference device -- a laptop hybrid with the keyboard and touchpad built into the carrying case. Obviously, we weren't satisfied with just a quick tease, so we caught up with him afterward to learn a bit more. As it turns out, it runs a quad-core version of AMD's new Temash chip, which is being billed as the first quad-core, x86-based SoC. (There's also a dual-core version.) Built into the chip is an HD Radeon 8000 series GPU with AMD's Graphics Core Next architecture, so in theory you should be able to pull off PC-caliber gaming even on a tablet.

All told, it promises 50 percent more performance than AMD's Hondo processor, which you can find in Vizio's new Windows 8 tablet. Of course, those are just marketing claims, and besides we haven't had a chance to benchmark either a Hondo or a Temash system yet. So, to put that in better context, it might be helpful to hear AMD talk about its competitors. Obviously, Intel is a biggie, but in particular AMD says Temash should be able to compete with Clover Trail tablet chips, going all the way up to Core i3 on laptops. We're told Temash will ship sometime in the first half of this year, and that AMD will be revealing more details about the platform at Mobile World Congress, which kicks off in late February. Until then, we've got hands-on photos of the unit below, along with some performance impressions after the break.

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