Advanced Micro Devices apparently didn't want its larger rival Intel to steal the show at the upcoming Windows 8 launch later this month. The company announced Tuesday that its new Z-60 chip is tailor-made for performance tablets and will be ready to go when Microsoft launches its next-gen, touch-optimized operating system on Oct. 26.

The Z-60, formerly code named Hondo, is another AMD accelerated processing unit (APU), meaning it combines x86-based central processing with the company's Radeon-branded graphics technology on a single chip. Hondo is a dual-core, 1GHz APU featuring AMD's Bobcat CPU cores and 80 GPU cores worth of Radeon HD 6250 graphics.

The new APU is suitable for tablets as thin as 10 millimeters and supports up to eight hours of battery life while surfing the Web or six hours during HD video playback, according to AMD.

Other selling points include AMD's Start Now technology for fast boot ups on a mobile device, HD 1080p and HDMI support, and DirectX 11 support for high-performance gaming.

"Tablet users seeking an uncompromised experience for both creating and consuming content on the Microsoft Windows 8 platform now have a performance-driven, affordable option with the AMD Z-60 APU. We see a large gap between the lower performance and high-price competitive offerings that allow AMD to be in tablet designs that will please our customers and end users alike," Steve Belt, corporate vice president of Ultra-Low Power Products at AMD, said in a statement.

Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, offered a translation of what Belt meant by that "large gap" as it relates to AMD's rivalry with Intel as the release of Windows 8 approaches.

Hondo, Moorhead said, "threads the needle between Core and Atom," a reference to the two Intel product families Intel is positioning for spots in Windows 8 tablets, convertibles, and hybrids. Last month, Intel and several OEM partners showcased several Windows 8-based tablets and hybrids powered by the chip giant's new Atom Z2760 chips, also known as Clover Trail. Many of those same partners will also have more powerful Windows 8 products available that sport Intel's mainstream Core processors.

According to AMD, the Z-60 fits somewhere between Clover Trail and Core in the Windows 8 firmament. PCMag's Michael Miller offered his take earlier today on these latest efforts by AMD and Intel to penetrate a mobile device market thus far dominated by ARM. The upshot is that while AMD is offering a bit less battery life and a bit more power draw with Hondo than Intel is with Clover Trail, the Z-60 is being sold on its graphics performance, especially the DirectX 11 factor, and being positioned for devices that offer extra oomph over their Atom-based cousins without breaking the bank.