Microsoft Windows Embedded Partner AMD’s New Chipset Option Gives Connected Media Device Manufacturers Big Performance in Small Hardware Footprint

REDMOND, Wash. — Jan. 19, 2011 — This month’s 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show clearly demonstrated the appeal and momentum behind the concept of “connected media devices” (CMD) — in particular those powered by the Windows Embedded Standard 7 operating system. The broader consumer electronics industry has high expectations for this category too — research firm Strategy Analytics, for example, estimates that the cumulative market for connected TVs, set-top boxes, DVRs and similar devices will grow more than 50 percent annually through 2014, reaching over 360 million units. As mentioned on this site before, what these devices will share are rich, compelling graphics-oriented user experiences that are designed for the mainstream consumer — all delivered with low power consumption and at low cost. But having a powerful, reliable underlying software platform in these devices is only half of the equation — they also need to be backed up by a corresponding hardware solution as well.

Today’s announcement by our chipset partner AMD of the launch of its Embedded G Series processor is an exciting development for this category as it introduces a new and differentiated hardware chipset option for CMD manufacturers. In particular, this embedded-focused platform, based on the new AMD Fusion technology, pulls together a low-power multicore x86 CPU with a DirectX 11-capable GPU on just one piece of silicon — in the form of an accelerated processing unit (APU). The advantage this offers device-makers is more performance capabilities in a smaller hardware footprint, all with less power consumption — all perquisites for meeting the demanding consumer usage scenarios for this competitive space. In short, it’s a compelling new hardware solution option for Windows Embedded-powered products — from connected media devices for consumers to more commercial applications like digital signs and point-of-sale kiosks.

AMD’s continued focus on the embedded space, as represented by today’s launch announcement, further cements the broader industry’s commitment to the CMD category. The G Series APU, optimized for the graphics-heavy needs of CMDs, offers an excellent complement to the Windows Embedded Standard 7 operating system. We’re excited to work with all our chipset partners — including AMD and its ecosystem partners — and with CMD manufacturers, in bringing products to market based on this new platform.