AMD UnARMed: Company Has No Plans to License ARM Architecture

AMD Intends to Keep "x86 Everywhere" Strategy

by Anton Shilov
04/29/2011 | 10:02 PM

Advanced Micro Devices said that it had no interest for ARM architecture and it would keep "x86 everywhere" strategy. The firm believes that its accelerated processing units (APUs) which combine x86 processing cores with ATI Radeon stream processors have potential to address personal computers as well as smartphones and emerging devices.

 

"It is definitely a misconception to say that ARM has a definite advantage over x86 (in mobile). We believe the APU is basically a piece of silicon that redefines the game. For example, it provides all day battery life on [11.6" notebook] and offers more compute power than any current Windows-compatible chip out there. Plus, it can run various operating systems and be implemented in multiple form factors. Clearly, x86 executed in the form of an APU has real opportunity and a future in more than one market," stated John Taylor, reports TG Daily.

AMD used to sell central processing units (CPUs) based on MIPS architecture called Aalchemy for handset and portable media players after it acquires Alchemy Semiconductor in 2002, but sold the lineup to Raza Microelectronics in 2006. When AMD acquired ATI back in 2006, the company owned license for MIPS CPUs as well as for ARM CPU bus. However, AMD eventually got rid of Imageon and Xilleon product lines and concentrated on its x86 designs. Intel Corp., AMD's arch-rival used to develop ARM-compatible central processing units, but also sold off the division to Marvell. In the mid-2000s the company proclaimed - just line the rival Intel Corp., which used to sell ARM-based chips - x86 everywhere strategy, under which the company plans to offer different x86-based chips for all possible markets.

Officially, AMD claims that it is easier to tune x86-based designs for low power consumption rather than to increase performance of ARM-based chips to the levels of x86 microprocessors by AMD or Intel. Moreover, the company recently said that it had no immediate plans to enter the market of smartphones, but would address the market of tablets with its 28nm accelerated processing units (APUs).

Ironically, Globalfoundries, a semiconductor spin-off from AMD, currently partners with a number of companies, who use ARM processing cores.