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AMD anyone?

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) announced on Monday that it would be releasing new 64-bit Opterons in 2014 leveraging a radically different architecture to its current complex instruction set computer (CISC) x86 architecture -- ARM Holdings plc's (LON:ARM) reduced instruction set computer (RISC) ARM architecture.

At the tiime AMD mentioned in passing that the chips were 64-bit.  That led to a bit of mystery, as ARM had not officially announced a 64-bit intellectual property core yet, although one was widely rumored.

That mystery was laid to rest yesterday when ARM Holdings announced a new intellectual property core -- the Cortex-A50 -- a core which leverage ARM's previously announced ARMv8 64-bit instruction set extensions.

The chips will tackle the full range of applications -- everything from smartphones to servers.  It is the linear successor to the 32-bit ARM Cortex-A15.

ARM Holdings has announced several Cortex-A50 cores geared at different objectives. The ARM Cortex-A53 will be the most power-efficent ARM processor, and the world's "smallest" (according to ARM) 64-bit processor.  ARM pledges that the mobile-geared Cortex-A53 will offer "three times the performance" of current generation smartphone chips.

A second core, the ARM Cortex-A57, is a more powerful 64-bit core, aimed at "high-performance applications", such as heavily threaded server workloads.

Calxeda dense server
Server chip makers Calxeda (pictured) are among Cortex-A50's early adopters.

Wonder who is cooking up 64-bit ARM cores?  ARM disclosed that its initial licensee list indeed includes AMD.  Also on the list are Broadcom Corp. (BRCM)  Calxeda (Hewlett-Packard Comp.'s (HPQ) server chip partner, actually an ARM Holdings startup subsidiary), HiSilicon Technologies Comp., Ltd., Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930), and STMicroelectronics N.V. (EPA:STM).

ARM says the new cores should ship in 2014.  The ARMv8 instruction set, though, is currently available for advanced developers and device implementers to start tinkering with.  Usually there's about a half year of lag time between the IP core announcement and the time when official speed and core count targets begin to trickle out from licensees: so chip buffs, stay tuned.

Source: ARM



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Smart move
By bupkus on 10/31/2012 1:46:12 PM , Rating: 3
It has been years since my last AMD CPU purchase-- a 4x Athlon II for $100. My current cpu is an i3-2100 on an Asrock H61 w/ USB 3.0 and 2 x SATA 6Gb/s. I'm still budget.

Sadly, I share the feeling that AMD is in deep trouble.
I'm curious just what AMD will be doing here beside providing volume processors for super computers.

IOW, what will AMD do with this license to separate itself from the pack?
Will they be free to use the instruction set, or to extend it and hawk a tweaked or improved design?
How much leeway will they have? I'm guessing as I ask these questions that they will be given enough room to either hang themselves or become a serious provider of unique designs.




RE: Smart move
By StormyKnight on 10/31/2012 11:27:20 PM , Rating: 3
I was waiting patiently for Zambezi (Bulldozer) to hit the shelves for my next build until I started seeing performance numbers. This new architecture was supposed to give the Core i5 and in some instances the Core i7 a run for their money. Bulldozer was routinely thumped by the Core i3.

I jumped ship to Intel and set up an i5-2500K on an ASUS board with 8GB of G.Skil DDR3-1866, 2TB WD Black HD, 60GB OCZ SATA SSD an a Sapphire Radeon HD6950 (have to keep some AMD in the box) vidcard housed in a Cooler Master HAF932 tower. I am more than pleased with the build and can overclock the cpu to almost 4.4GHz on air.

AMD needs to do something else. I don't want it to abandon it's desktop/laptop market. But if they keep putting out offerings only for the budget crowd, they're going to head into a hole they won't be able to escape. If they go under, Intel won't have any competition. No competition means stagnation and over inflated prices. I think everyone can agree that isn't desirable.


RE: Smart move
By StormyKnight on 10/31/2012 11:27:37 PM , Rating: 2
I was waiting patiently for Zambezi (Bulldozer) to hit the shelves for my next build until I started seeing performance numbers. This new architecture was supposed to give the Core i5 and in some instances the Core i7 a run for their money. Bulldozer was routinely thumped by the Core i3.

I jumped ship to Intel and set up an i5-2500K on an ASUS board with 8GB of G.Skil DDR3-1866, 2TB WD Black HD, 60GB OCZ SATA SSD an a Sapphire Radeon HD6950 (have to keep some AMD in the box) vidcard housed in a Cooler Master HAF932 tower. I am more than pleased with the build and can overclock the cpu to almost 4.4GHz on air.

AMD needs to do something else. I don't want it to abandon it's desktop/laptop market. But if they keep putting out offerings only for the budget crowd, they're going to head into a hole they won't be able to escape. If they go under, Intel won't have any competition. No competition means stagnation and over inflated prices. I think everyone can agree that isn't desirable.


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