Breaking News
View Comments: Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Paul A. Clayton
User Rank
CEO
Re: What is the strategy here?
Paul A. Clayton   5/12/2014 8:01:15 PM
NO RATINGS
ISA is still a significant factor for many server users and even in embedded systems there is some attraction to not needing to use cross compilation (i.e., x86 compatibility has some value). Even those who could somewhat easily transition to ARM from x86 are likely to wait until support is more common and risk is lower.

x86 offerings could have a slightly higher cost/power per unit of performance (or higher per thread performance) to stay on message that ARM is "better" if compatibility (or high single-thread performance) is not important without hurting x86 sales too much.

In some ways, it is the OEMs that will have to sell the hardware. Traditional x86 server vendors might be more inclined to deal with AMD for ARM processors than a company new to servers. Being a supplier with more diverse offerings (as well as motherboard compatibility) may give AMD an advantage.

AMD might not have had much choice but to offer ARM processors simply to appear relevant in the server market. In addition, if AMD did not enter the ARM server market before it became significant (if that happens), those who entered first would have a significant competitive advantage. On the other hand, if AMD abandonned x86, their unique assets related to x86 would become valueless and near-future x86 sales would shrink. If they already need to develop x86 cores for the personal computer market, using these designs for servers does not add much cost.

On the other hand, who can guess what the AMD leadership are actually thinking? They might be just trying multiple directions in the hope that something works.

TarraTarra!
User Rank
CEO
Re: What is the strategy here?
TarraTarra!   5/12/2014 6:32:08 PM
NO RATINGS
@Paul

 

You make some good points. It appears that they are planning on keeping both the internal ARM design for the high end and the ARM design at the low end. But that is what is confusing. How will they differentiate their ARM offerings vs. their x86 ones. It appears that they are just putting both out there and hoping for the best.

Paul A. Clayton
User Rank
CEO
Re: What is the strategy here?
Paul A. Clayton   5/12/2014 3:29:19 PM
NO RATINGS
I receive the impression that the use of ARM processor designs was a time-to-market choice and that later AMD processors, at least for high performance designs, would use internally designed cores.

With respect to the common motherboard strategy, this seems to present AMD as a more attractive choice than other ARM vendors in that inventory issues are reduced (cost and risk). This might allow AMD to reacquire some server share from Intel in x86 and take a significant portion of any ARM server market.

For servers, competing with Intel is nearly inevitable. It seems the only way to avoid that would be to choose a specialized portion of the larger market which Intel does not view as worth pursuing. However, that severely limits revenue, which is significant for the high fixed costs of processor design and manufacture. Even targeting a niche would not prevent competion from companies using ARM.

It seems that AMD is, to some degree, focusing on more specialized markets, which is somewhat appropriate for a smaller, "hungrier" company. AMD cannot be expected to compete head-to-head with Intel given Intel's advantages in revenue, process technology, and vendor relations. With the increasing credibility of ARM as an alternative to Intel, AMD's position as a second source for x86 is weakened, so relying on x86 alone is more dangerous.

AMD's historically inconsistent execution may also encourage more numerous smaller projects rather than a few high-effort projects. Intel's advantages also work better for high effort projects (which tend to be high volume) and Intel is more likely to pursue any market that would justify higher effort.

The above is just speculation based on general concepts and some common knowledge of the field.

TarraTarra!
User Rank
CEO
What is the strategy here?
TarraTarra!   5/12/2014 12:48:03 PM
NO RATINGS
What is AMD' strategy? I am confused on what they are trying to achieve. They will have low performance ARM and x86 and also high performance ARM and x86. ARM and x86 processors will be interchangeable. They will use CPU IP from ARM and also design their own. They will not only compete with Intel but also all other ARM players.

It looks like a "let's try everything and something will work out" strategy.

 

TarraTarra!
User Rank
CEO
Re: Keller
TarraTarra!   5/8/2014 2:18:11 PM
NO RATINGS
Not to belabor the point but the original K8 architecture that Keller came up with was completely abandoned. The K6 team with Greg Favor (K6 architect) had also left so Fred, Kevin McGrathe and the Austin team (Scott White and others) made 64b extensions to the K7 design which ended up becoming Opteron.

 

Just making sure that credit is given where due.

 

bsassani940
User Rank
Rookie
Re: Keller
bsassani940   5/7/2014 8:51:16 PM
NO RATINGS
Thanks for reply. Actually, I worked in AMD for 7 years (As well as in Intel) and happen to know Jim so I was curious to know about your sources.

The original blueprint was him actually but after his move, many modification was done (Weber). I do not know about other projects.

Best wishes

TarraTarra!
User Rank
CEO
Re: Keller
TarraTarra!   5/7/2014 1:46:09 PM
NO RATINGS
@TerraTerra,

"From what I heard"? Can you share your sources?

Well, having been around the processor and CPU industry for decades one keeps track of CPU designs, their architects and so on. The Opteron design was based on K7. Opteron was the 64b version of K7. I believe there were numerous articles on this at that time. Keller did not have anything to do with Opteron.

manu9104
User Rank
Rookie
Re: Look out Applied Micro...
manu9104   5/7/2014 12:30:13 AM
NO RATINGS
shouldn't it be look out Applied Micro, Intel and everyone else because you are all beating a dying horse, move over silicon.........POET is here! A disruptive technology at a crucial time.

www.poet-technologies.com

 

bsassani940
User Rank
Rookie
Re: Keller
bsassani940   5/6/2014 7:53:31 PM
NO RATINGS
@TerraTerra,

"From what I heard"? Can you share your sources?

Thanks

TarraTarra!
User Rank
CEO
Keller
TarraTarra!   5/6/2014 7:14:24 PM
NO RATINGS
Keller had NOTHING to do with Opteron! From what I heard, his first stint and AMD was short-lived. His initial K8 architecture was scrapped and he left for SiByte.

 

Now he is associated with SiByte but the architecture there was quite a ways along by the time he joined, so his influence was limited.

 

Oh, and he is associated with Apple's A5/A6  processor but he did not architect that either as he had separated from the PA-Semi team that designed it.

 

Notice a pattern here?

Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Top Comments of the Week
August Cartoon Caption Winner!
August Cartoon Caption Winner!
"All the King's horses and all the KIng's men gave up on Humpty, so they handed the problem off to Engineering."
5 comments
Like Us on Facebook

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
EE Times on Twitter
EE Times Twitter Feed
Radio
LATEST ARCHIVED BROADCAST
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.
Flash Poll