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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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By Philippine Mango on 11/1/2012 1:14:22 AM , Rating: 2
Since we're already at a point where x86 processors made today have a bit more processing power than necessary for the majority of users who don't do anything useful with their time except troll twitter or facebook. So if AMD were to make an AMD Fusion processor with a power efficient ARM processor, I could see that being used in laptops... My only issue I've got is I don't like the direction Microsoft is going in with its ARM based operating systems where they're limiting the kind of software you can run on your system. I really hate the idea that phones and whatnot do not allow you to use the software of your choice without voiding the warranty.




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