Monday, October 29th 2012

AMD First to Bridge Both x86 and ARM Processors for the Data Center

In a bold strategic move, AMD announced that it will design 64-bit ARM technology-based processors in addition to its x86 processors for multiple markets, starting with cloud and data center servers. AMD's first ARM technology-based processor will be a highly-integrated, 64-bit multicore System-on-a-Chip (SoC) optimized for the dense, energy-efficient servers that now dominate the largest data centers and power the modern computing experience. The first ARM technology-based AMD Opteron processor is targeted for production in 2014 and will integrate the AMD SeaMicro Freedom supercompute fabric, the industry's premier high-performance fabric.

AMD's new design initiative addresses the growing demand to deliver better performance-per-watt for dense cloud computing solutions. Just as AMD introduced the industry's first mainstream 64-bit x86 server solution with the AMD Opteron processor in 2003, AMD will be the only processor provider bridging the x86 and 64-bit ARM ecosystems to enable new levels of flexibility and drive optimal performance and power-efficiency for a range of enterprise workloads.


"AMD led the data center transition to mainstream 64-bit computing with AMD64, and with our ambidextrous strategy we will again lead the next major industry inflection point by driving the widespread adoption of energy-efficient 64-bit server processors based on both the x86 and ARM architectures," said Rory Read, president and chief executive officer, AMD. "Through our collaboration with ARM, we are building on AMD's rich IP portfolio, including our deep 64-bit processor knowledge and industry-leading AMD SeaMicro Freedom supercompute fabric, to offer the most flexible and complete processing solutions for the modern data center."

"The industry needs to continuously innovate across markets to meet customers' ever-increasing demands, and ARM and our partners are enabling increasingly energy-efficient computing solutions to address these needs," said Warren East, chief executive officer, ARM. "By collaborating with ARM, AMD is able to leverage its extraordinary portfolio of IP, including its AMD Freedom supercompute fabric, with ARM 64-bit processor cores to build solutions that deliver on this demand and transform the industry."

The explosion of the data center has brought with it an opportunity to optimize compute with vastly different solutions. AMD is providing a compute ecosystem filled with choice, offering solutions based on AMD Opteron x86 CPUs, new server-class Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) that leverage Heterogeneous Systems Architecture (HSA), and new 64-bit ARM-based solutions.

This strategic partnership with ARM represents the next phase of AMD's strategy to drive ambidextrous solutions in emerging mega data center solutions. In March, AMD announced the acquisition of SeaMicro, the leader in high-density, energy-efficient servers. With this announcement, AMD will integrate the AMD SeaMicro Freedom fabric across its leadership AMD Opteron x86- and ARM-technology based processors that will enable hundreds, or even thousands of processor clusters to be linked together to provide the most energy-efficient solutions.

"Over the past decade the computer industry has coalesced around two high-volume processor architectures -- x86 for personal computers and servers, and ARM for mobile devices," observed Nathan Brookwood, research fellow at Insight 64. "Over the next decade, the purveyors of these established architectures will each seek to extend their presence into market segments dominated by the other. The path on which AMD has now embarked will allow it to offer products based on both x86 and ARM architectures, a capability no other semiconductor manufacturer can likely match."

At an event hosted by AMD in San Francisco, representatives from Amazon, Dell, Facebook and Red Hat participated in a panel discussion on opportunities created by ARM server solutions from AMD. A replay of the event can be found here as of 5 p.m. PDT, Oct. 29.
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14 Comments on AMD First to Bridge Both x86 and ARM Processors for the Data Center

#1
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
With as many people own tablets/phones with ARM based chips I really don't see this as a bad idea. It would be nice to see ARM get a stronger foothold into the market with the possibility of some of the strong chips porting into desktops.
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#2
[H]@RD5TUFF
Unless Intel can continue the trend it set with Ivy Bridge with low TDP and low power draw, highly efficient processors, and push the TDP and power draw lower, I don't see how in a cash strapped economy and untilities becoming more expensive they can compete with throngs of ARM devices drawing less power and having roughly the same computing power.
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#3
james888
I would love the irony if this pulled amd out of the hole they are in right now
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#4
suraswami
The future is handheld and cloud computing, Arm has decent share for handheld devices, so I think this might be a smart move.

AMD already don't want to compete with Intel, if they branch out and expand, intel will be running all alone?
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#6
D4S4
: popcorn :
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#7
NC37
IBM has been competing in the RISC server platform for years. AMD coming into it with ARM would be interesting. Lower power draw but also AMD has GPU tech it could utilize. nVidia has GPU servers. Now imagine AMD leveraging Radeon tech along with x86 and ARM. Hmmm...beginning to see why AMD brought back that one CPU designer. He not only made AMD's best, he designed the recent ARM based CPUs for Apple.

Will be really interesting to see how this turns out.
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#8
Thefumigator
by: james888
I would love the irony if this pulled amd out of the hole they are in right now
Why would that be an irony? after all, gpus were saving their back for quite while...

Also, I don't see AMD trying "not to compete against intel"... their offering aren't uncompetitive at all specially (or only) in low and mid markets.
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#9
Melvis
ARM is the future so hell yes lol
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#10
Steevo
I love the repetitive regurgitation of cloud and other "centric" bullshit. We are still years on years away from full cloud computing, we all thought it was going to happen when we had much slower internet and it didnt happen then, and now we have much higher speed internet and still nothing other than web content being delivered to client side devices, even the mobile ones.

ee this as a move to make the steps into multi-platform optomized content delivery.
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#11
james888
by: Thefumigator
Why would that be an irony? after all, gpus were saving their back for quite while...

Also, I don't see AMD trying "not to compete against intel"... their offering aren't uncompetitive at all specially (or only) in low and mid markets.
Ati was gpus. Arm is a lower power cpu. I am not saying that it is a bad idea but would be humerous that amd had to use another arms cpu's to compete better.
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#12
eidairaman1
I see ARM and AMD Merging to be come ARMD!
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#13
refillable
ARMD LOLOL :laugh:

If they could implement this tech on their next generation desktop processor, they could win against intel in power consumption. Which AMD is far behind today. Yes load power consumption won't be helped, but idle power consumption will be helped dramatically.
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#14
eidairaman1
by: refillable
ARMD LOLOL :laugh:

If they could implement this tech on their next generation desktop processor, they could win against intel in power consumption. Which AMD is far behind today. Yes load power consumption won't be helped, but idle power consumption will be helped dramatically.
well back in the day AMD CPUs had some RISC capability to them too so i say why not. PD did improve the power consumption considerably compared to what BD had while inproving performance. Just hope SR is higher IPC
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