AMD unshackles from Windows exclusivity, adopts Chrome OS and Android

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After years of Windows OS exclusivity, Advanced Micro Devices is opening the door to design chips to run Google’s Android and Chrome OS in PCs and tablets.

AMD is expanding OS options as it designs chips based on x86 and ARM architecture, which run multiple OSes, said Lisa Su, senior vice president and general manager of global business units at AMD, in an
interview at the Computex trade show in Taiwan. AMD is also expanding its custom-chip business, and Android and Chrome OS offer flexibility for third-party chip design and integration, Su said.

AMD previously said it had no interest in Android and that its chips would be exclusively tuned for
Microsoft’s Windows 8. But now the company will adapt its chips for companies that want to build laptops or tablets with Android or Chrome.

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“I think Android and Chrome tend to be in the entry form factors—the tablets, the low-end clamshells,” Su said.

Adoption of Windows 8 on tablets has been weak, and Android support could open up a larger market
for AMD. AMD’s previous Z-01 and Z-60 tablet chips were used in just a handful of Windows tablets, none of which sold well.