ARM Goes 64-bit: Cortex-A50 Surfaces, to Target Everything From Server to Phones
October 31, 2012 11:14 AM
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Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (
) 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
a 64-bit intellectual property core yet, although one was widely rumored.
That mystery was laid to rest yesterday when ARM Holdings
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 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.
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. (
) Calxeda (Hewlett-Packard Comp.'s (
server chip partner
, actually an ARM Holdings startup subsidiary), HiSilicon Technologies Comp., Ltd., Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (
), and STMicroelectronics N.V. (
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.
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RE: Smart move
10/31/2012 11:27:20 PM
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.
"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad
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