AMD has outlined a roadmap that will see it give equal weight to the ARM and x86 architectures in future, including pin-compatibility that will enable system builders to drop in either type of chip.
At an event in San Francisco, the chipmaker announced plans that will see it emphasise both x86 and ARM chips for future platforms, a strategy that it labelled ambidextrous computing. AMD also revealed it was developing its own 64-bit ARM-based processor core codenamed K12 for future chips.
Starting from 2015, AMD will start to develop families of 64-bit ARM and x86 architecture chips in parallel, built with a 20nm fabrication process. However, the key part is that these chips are set to be pin compatible, giving system builders the choice of whether to deliver an ARM or x86 system based on the same motherboard.
"Our innovative ambidextrous design capability, combined with our portfolio of IP and expertise with high-performance SoCs, means that AMD is set to deliver ambidextrous solutions that enable our customers to change the world in more efficient and powerful ways," said AMD chief executive Rory Read.
These future chips will be available in both accelerated processor units (APUs) and system on chip (SoC) variants, as AMD's upcoming family of x86 Opteron server chips are. It also means that the ARM-based version of Project SkyBridge will feature AMD's Graphics Core Next (GCN) GPU technology integrated on-chip alongside Cortex-A57 CPU cores.
At the event, AMD publicly demonstrated its first ARM-based server processor codenamed Seattle and now formally known as the Opteron A-Series, which is set to ship in production systems later this year.
However, for future ARM-based products beyond 2016, AMD is developing its own processor core, the firm disclosed. Codenamed K12, this will take deep advantage of AMD's ARM architectural licence and extensive 64-bit design expertise, according to the firm, but it otherwise gave away few details about the capabilities of the upcoming core design.
AMD is not the only chipmaker to follow this strategy. Apple also designs its own ARM-based cores for the chips used in its devices. The move illustrates that AMD has long-term plans for the ARM architecture, beyond merely licensing a core design to build a chip around as it is currently doing with Seattle.
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago