Intel is trying to expand the presence of its x86 chips in tablets, but most use ARM processors. AMD has a road map with x86 and ARM architecture chips, so the chip maker could technically reenter the tablet market whenever it wants, McCarron said.
Device makers could approach AMD to make custom chips for tablets, which could deliver higher margins, McCarron said, adding that AMD won't refuse such opportunities.
AMD's Lensing took a more long-term view of tablets. The lines between tablets and PCs are merging, so that in a few years it will be hard to distinguish between the two. Hybrids are already emerging that can run as PCs or tablets.
"The future of what today is predominantly a 15 to 30 watt notebook will likely be a tablet-like form factor," Lensing said.
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