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AMD Hires Point to Tablet and Smartphone Focus

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According to Reuters AMD recently hired two senior engineers from Apple and Qualcomm in an attempt to move more into the tablet and smartphone arena.

From Qualcomm, AMD hired Charles Matar who has experience in System-on-Chip processors. He will help the company make new SoC chips for mobile devices in his new role of vice president of System-on-Chip Development

From Apple the company hired Wayne Meretsky who worked on the processors for the iPhone and iPad. Meretsky will lead AMD’s software development in his role as vice president of software IP development.

AMD Windows 8 Tablet

An AMD powered Windows 8 tablet shown at CES 2013.

For users the new hires means more competition in the tablet and smartphone marketplace. AMD may choose to enter the smartphone processor race against Qualcomm, NVIDIA, Samsung and others, but the company hasn’t seemed too interested in creating ARM chips for mobile devices in the past.

Like Intel, AMD has mainly focused on bringing its laptop and desktop chips to mobile devices. The company’s new chips will make their way to convertibles and tablets. For example, at CES Vizio announced a new Windows 8 tablet powered by an AMD processor.

If AMD does choose to bring its x86 processors to smartphones it will compete with Intel in yet another arena. Intel has its smartphone processors in a number of Android smartphones in Europe and China. The most recent of these phones in the new Lenovo K900.

AMD needs to expand to other areas of technology because of the shrinking PC market. As smartphones and tablets grow in popularity users buy fewer computers. The PC industry makes up 80 percent of AMD’s revenue, so it has to find new ways to generate revenue. The company recently had to layoff 15 percent of its employees, and expanding will hopefully help it keep the employees it currently has.

Shawn is a tech junkie who spends most of his time reading and writing about it. You can follow him on Twitter, @shawn_i.

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