LONDON – Processor licensor ARM Holdings plc is trying to persuade Advanced Micro Devices Inc., the long-time rival to global chip leader Intel Corp. to license ARM processors and use them instead of the x86 architecture.
It is notable that software giant Microsoft and ARM (Cambridge, England) are due to provide keynoters for an upcoming Fusion development conference and that Microsoft recently announced that it would support its full Windows operating system running on ARM processors.
One possibility is that AMD could amend its Fusion architecture to include both x86 and ARM CPU cores plus graphics cores in a heterogeneous multiprocessor. However, it is also possible that AMD may choose to abandon difficult and expensive attempts to develop its own multicore x86 architecture in competition with Intel and, instead, allow ARM to provide its cores.
Speaking to EE Times during a discussion of ARM's first quarter financial results CEO Warren East said: "AMD is a successful company selling microprocessors. ARM is in the business of licensing microprocessor designs. It is perfectly natural that we should have been trying to sell microprocessor designs to AMD for about the last ten years. Hitherto we haven't been successful."
East also said: "AMD has signaled they are going through a rethink of their strategy, and that must provide a heightened opportunity for ARM. They might use ARM microprocessors in the future and you've got to expect that we would be trying to persuade them of that."
im all for AMD making ARM processors or combo x86/ARM processors
but i hate the idea of AMD not making x86 processors, i have a bunch of x86 programs and only use AMD, i would hate to have to use Intel.
There are one or two other sources of x86 processors but not really in the PC space, but if AMD did choose to cease making x86 processors it might raise such monopoly concerns.
It all depends on how your define the market.
But given than Windows software will be able to run on x86 or ARM architecture processors it might well be not cause too much concern.
Also it would seem harsh if Intel was forced into actions by an antitrust ruling because of actions beyond its control by AMD.
We are so intent on "greening" the planet", and then we waste industry resources, energy, and thousands of man years on redoing something where, in the end "MOV A,B" achieves the same result. **yawn** Let's move on to more productive uses of silicon, and its designers, and leave the 20 year old stuff as "good enough". The monkey playing Solitaire on a tablet, can't tell, and won't care, anyway. Get a life ARM.
I don't think it would make any sense for AMD to drop x86. It's a huge busienss and opportunity for many, many years. However it might make sense for AMD to add ARM to its portfolio for some markets such as smartphones, tablets and ultra low power servers where it has a limited play.
I can see AMD adding ARM to its portfolio, but not at the expense of x86. They have had such a fierce rivalry with Intel, I think it would go against corporate culture to drop the x86. Maybe phase it out over several years but not just drop it and move to ARM.
I agree it does not make sense for AMD to drop x86 immediately. No doubt there is roadmap of designs coming through that will impact the market for some time.
BUT sticking with x86 is costly in terms of engineering resources while licensing ARM cores would be economically efficient.
And once both approaches are in-house, with Windows running on both, it would allow direct comparison.
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