We've been hammering this point home all day, but AMD just mentioned it again. The company wants to be a solutions provider, one that's ambidextrous and not married to any one architecture. AMD is likely talking about ARM here and seems willing to offer both ARM and x86 based SoCs depending on the market segment/customer requirements.

What's important to note is that thus far AMD has talked about these ambidextrous solutions with respect to the datacenter and not client systems, and definitely not smartphones. If you were looking for AMD to get into the ARM based SoC race in phones, that's not what's going to happen. An AMD architected ARM based enterprise solution is interesting though. It's unclear to me what the main advantage of ARM would be there, particularly given that AMD has its own low power x86 core with Bobcat, but it's an interesting notion.

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  • chizow - Friday, February 3, 2012 - link

    ARM in the datacenter would erode their existing x86 business, which is all they have in the CPU space right now.

    Why not use ARM to enter markets where they have no entrants, like tablet or smartphone? Its obvious they don't have the time and R&D budget to do what Intel did to integrate x86 into a small enough package, but ARM would put them on almost equal footing right away.

    Bundle ARM CPU and AMD graphics on an SoC and you have an immediately interesting product, similar to Tegra 3.

    Is there any reason AMD is so reluctant to enter this market? It seems to me new CEO Rory Reed is interested in focusing on the lower-end products with strong Trinity products, but those aren't small enough to get into the tablet/phone space anytime soon are they?
  • Morg. - Monday, February 6, 2012 - link

    So . about x86 : 90+% of all servers, 90% of Intel.

    While AMD may continue to earn some space in the x86 market, it's going to take a very long while to get anywhere.

    Entering the cheap markets (tablet/smartphone) against strong competitors such as Samsung and the other ARM licensees is not very interesting as the market is already crowded.

    No, you will not get something very interesting out of an AMD tegra3, since it would at most be like a tegra3, but with less product experience and a lot of research costs.

    Eventually, all the lower end including standard boxes for business and normal users will be ARM, AMD knows this and is doing all they can to get a big share of that market before they (and intel) can no longer compete.

    They've got limited research budget, and the most interesting markets at the moment for them are those where they can sell existing technology for a good price : x86 servers, compute GPU's, OEM APU's and stuff.

    In most of those markets they're currently only fighting with one arch-rival (Nvidia for GPU and Intel for CPU) and in both markets they're pretty much tied (although Intel is going for the process advantage and will be hard to stop) whereas in the ARM APU/CPU market they would be against too many, with much lower margins and less experience.

    It IS an interesting move, but only if AMD was much richer, because at this point they need to get themselves out of the red zone before going after other markets.
  • Southernsharky - Monday, February 6, 2012 - link

    Well AMD wouldn't really about against a lot of people. Sure there are other companies making ARM chips, but if they bought an ARM license, they would get a lot of tech support from ARM, which is the only reason we have so many companies making ARM chips. If these companies had to do their own research.... there would be maybe 1 or 2 companies in the game (Texas I and maybe Qualcom). With its experience making chips, I think AMD could do this pretty easily. Whether or not they could be competitive is another story.
  • vignyan - Tuesday, February 7, 2012 - link

    The flexible ISA that they are talking about might be a different one than ARM. They are trying hard to sell the APU part to Microsoft. I guess that's the ISA difference and the ambidextrous solution. Am I really the only one seeing this?
  • Darksurf - Wednesday, February 8, 2012 - link

    I'm a big AMD/ATI fanboy. I can easily see myself buying and android tablet with AMD chipsets! AMD has the ability to create ARM chips and they've been in the business long enough to do it well. AMD has always been competitive, price per performance per watt rocks the CPU world. Look at the new fusion CPUs! They are selling like hotcakes in laptops! I think if AMD gets in the game, they will have a nice piece of the ARM pie!

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