Whatever happened to AMD's last tablet chip, Temash? We had a great time playing DiRT Showdown on a Temash-powered Windows 8 tablet back at CES, but the graphics-focused processor has so far only appeared in a handful of low-profile devices from the likes of Acer, ASUS and Gigabyte. If this lack of impact was due to the chip's relatively hungry four-watt power draw (hungry for a tablet, at least), then AMD might just have a solution in the form of Temash's successor, this time named after a river called "Mullins."
Thanks to its new Puma cores and 28nm fabrication, Mullins brings the wattage down to just two watts. This puts it broadly on a par with most ARM and Intel Bay Trail consumer tablet chips, which is a first for AMD outside of its industrial G-Series range. Meanwhile, a claimed doubling of performance-per-watt means that frame rates shouldn't take much of a hit. As with all of AMD's latest processors, including its "Beema" range for low-power laptops which should launch around the same time as Mullins, the presence of a Graphics Core Next GPU should help to improve performance on Mantle-boosted games, including those brought across from next-gen consoles. So, although AMD is now extremely late to the tablet party, it may still get there -- and we don't have long to wait. Mullins is due to launch in the first half of next year, and we're promised a turn on a Mullins-powered tablet at the upcoming CES 2014 in January.