It thus becomes possible to read some significance into the presence of Microsoft and ARM executives as keynoters at an upcoming Fusion development conference. The event will run June 13 to 16 in Bellevue, Washington, which is Microsoft's backyard, and include more than 50 technical sessions spanning areas including multimedia, user interfaces, business and high-performance computing and security.
The event might provide a good opportunity to announce the extension of Fusion to accommodate licensed cores such as Cortex-A series cores or Mali graphics along-side x86 cores.
A board-level strategic decision to go with ARM might also fit with the departure of AMD's CEO. When Dirk Meyer quit as AMD CEO in January 2011, reports suggested he was forced out by a board of directors dissatisfied with AMD's lack of chips for the tablet computer and mobile market.
Now it may be that a hard-pressed AMD was simply unable to create designs for all the different sectors and performance profiles in a proliferating PC landscape. But that alone is reason to get off the x86 treadmill and let ARM do some of the heavy lifting. And having missed the tablet computer boom ARM licensing would provide the fastest way for AMD to get a chip to market and make up lost ground.
A licensing move by AMD would, of course, exactly fit with ARM's commercial battle with Intel. Indeed, it would recognize ARM taking over from AMD as Intel competitor-in-chief as well as pushing back on the global chip leader painting the company into a tighter corner.
If it came to the point where the x86 architecture is not worth second-sourcing what does that say about the value of the first-source chips?
Intriguing link @Yankiwi...there is an interesting analogy between Intel, Nokia, Microsoft etc. as large companies that once dominated their markets but now struggling to maintain their dominance...but they still have billions of dollars in the bank so you can't write them off just like that....Arm, Apple and Google might struggle one day too, this is a cycle of good capitalism that is healthy for all of us...Kris
AMD has long experience selling microprocessors into desktop, server and notebook computers. This is something which ARM has never been able to do because of a lack of Windows, until now.
Could AMD help ARM power up Windows-based computers?
Right, thereís no story here. ARM is always seeking another design compliment; Intel or otherwise. Trade here, exchange there, just another license. AMD abandon x86; never. $100,000 wafers for $4,000 wafers; not likely. Establish parity position in ARM cluster; possibly. Unique & differentiated; hard to say. Shadow of Intel; stepped on & dumped on & infiltrated & dismantled by Intel over, & over, & over again. Playing catch up; and that has something to do with being stepped on & dumped on; over & over & over again. Definer of x86 architecture and always playing catch up; Socket 7, first to 1 GHz, Hyper transport, 1st to 64 bit x86, first over 90 nanometer hurdle. Intel always uses others for their most risky prototypes. Code compatibility at a better price, sure, but only when Intel dumps below cost. Under pressure; more like forced under. From scaling down to scaling out; know Linux? And if only multiprocessing thatís more than distributed could make all those installed processors work meaning no more processors to sell; what would sales think? This margin; you do understand the difference between $100,000 wafers and $4,000 wafer donít you. Whatís not making sense here? 64 bit Windows efficient; bloat, bloat. Oh Samsung, you must mean the good Intel? Fusion dev conference; Iím wondering too? One always has to explain too Microsoft, exactly, why not combining with Intel makes financial sense. Yea, tablets, if the board said to anyone make meager processors below cost Iíd be upset with what that did to employee MBOís and enterprise profitability too. Destroy XEON, then you can afford dabble in tablet. ARM; maybe? But only if those wafers are worth a whole lot moore. x86 not worth second sourcing; are you out of your mind? Value of first source chips pays for everything else. Licensing x86 would essentially limit ARM to their little $600 million dollar island. Wake up.