That Acer intends to make it big with a suitable tablet for use in the enterprise segment can be gauged from the recent disclosure of sources in Acer’s component market having placed an order for Z series Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) from AMD. The size of the order amounts to 80,ooo APUs, though neither AMD nor Acer have confirmed the latest development. The other company of repute, which is also presently using APUs from AMD for their tablet PC is Micro Star International (MSI).
Also, the latest trend for manufacturers to go for APUs from AMD instead of Intel Oak Trail platforms makes for an interesting scenario. This since there still are issues with the Android 3.0 Honeycomb which need to be resolved while Android Ice Cream Sandwich isn’t due until late 2011. So in order to drive growth, manufacturers seems to have found favor with Windows 7 operating system which is likely to be the OS of choice for quite a few upcoming tablet PCs. Also, having Windows 7 as the OS, the tablet would seem to be more inclined for enterprise or industrial use than anywhere else.
As for Intel’s Oak Trail-based Atom CPUs, the reason for it to be not in the scheme of things is its higher price and power consumption leading to higher priced tablet PCs but with below par battery performance. On the other hand, the Z-01 APU that Acer has opted for combines two x86-64 cores having a clock speed of 1.00 GHz and includes AMD Radeon HD 6250 DirectX 11 compliant graphics, and a DDR3 memory controller. AMD is producing their Z series APU at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s (TSMC’s) 40nm process. Shipping of the APU has already commenced and Windows based tablet PCs are the intended target for these APUs. Company expects at least 500,000 units to be manufactured and shipped in the second half of 2011. This surely would give Intel something to ponder about with their Oak Trail processor .