back to article AMD beds ARM in 'Project SkyBridge' and home-grown 'K12' ARM architecture chips

AMD has announced that it will create pin-compatible 64-bit x86 and ARM SoCs in an effort it's calling "Project SkyBridge", and that it has licensed the ARMv8 architecture and will design its own home-grown ARM-based processors. "AMD is the only company that can bridge ARM and the x86 ecosystems," said AMD's SVP and GM of global …

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An interesting move, however, I first thought they were doing x86 and ARM in the same chip as well so you could get both (or just low power, etc) as needed at run-time.

Maybe if Intel had done this with the Itanium from the start it would have been less Itanic...

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Paris Hilton

Over compromised?

I suppose a compromised chip seems attractive from afar but is it also a demonstrable lack of commitment and will it cost too much?

A nice thing about ARM is that it does not try to do too much - it has a lean n mean architecture that is supremely single minded and as a consequence it does not draw too much power?

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Re: Over compromised?

It seems to be mainly a packaging ploy, I can't see how it compromises the ARM architecture. It's not like they are going to put an ARM into a 286, 386 or 486 standard package.

(If they are, I had a box of old ISA MoBos somewhere, but they don't take much RAM).

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Go

Re: Over compromised?

I suppose a compromised chip seems attractive from afar but is it also a demonstrable lack of commitment and will it cost too much?

A bit like when they started making a 64 bit x86 compatible device. That never caught on, unlike the "pure" 64bit Itanium which was a runaway success.

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AMD Opteron is also an ARM?

Confusing ...

Maybe MS will be a customer for their Surface. I'm not sure what the logic of this is, unless the ARM chips fit an existing design of board that uses Another Company's x86 chip?

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So, I buy this Opteron ...

It would have been nice if it were called and Armteron or Phonoron or anything but Opteron so I have a big warning about what is going to happen next. Modern motherboards have UEFI firmware so the drivers are written in byte code which will run on any CPU with the appropriate byte code interpreter ... installed in the firmware. In theory, you can pull out an X86, plug in an Itanium, boot from CD and install any OS ... digitally signed by Microsoft. I have no idea if this ever works in practice, but I bet plenty of motherboards do not come with a byte code interpreter compiled for Itanium, none have one for ARM installed and that will change at the speed of a sloth on ketamine.

The entire purpose of UEFI is to prevent a computer's owner from being able to install his choice of firmware so he has to put up with the manufacturer's choice of operating systems, bugs, spyware and now CPU architecture.

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"The Seattle-based server was demoed powering a full LAMP stack, running Red Hat Linux, Apache web server, MySQL, PHP, WordPress, and – this being an event for press and analysts – the obligatory self-congratulatory video."

I suspect you mean Fedora rather than RHEL. The latter is not officially available. The only available EL6 port available is Red Sleeve, and EL7 ports are being worked on by Red Sleeve and CentOS. RH made no announcement about RHEL7 on ARM yet, as far as I am aware.

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SD2

I wonder if AMD has any plans for laptop/notebook ARM based cpus. I think a 10W or even 15W part would offer quite a bit of bang for buck. Of course it would be Linux (or Android) only, if anyone would assemble such a beast for the masses in a packaged aimed at the power user.

But, well done AMD! Please bring back some innovation. Your recent product lineup has left me with only one purchasing option for over 5 years now...

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Go

It almost certainly does but probably using the hybrid x86/ARM/GPU architecture it's promoting. x86 gives extra oomph for single-threaded tasks and provides compatibility for x86 applications, ARM can provide encryption and other things in hardware or even compatibility for native ARM applications (take that Intel!) and the GPU for graphics and parallel processing.

The mix can be adjusted over time or according to market demand. Of course, getting it all to work nicely is going to require the help of the compiler / software stack but I think it's a very attractive proposition.

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Hmmm....

This tells me that AMD will not be shifting their socket design any time soon. Pin-compatible means that they'll have a ARM-based G34 or AM3+ in addition to x64s, and it wouldn't make sense to then move to G42 or AM4 (AM3++) and make non-pin compatible x64s.

So, I'm thinking when these his, AMD will have a stable socket design, and that will be a good time to start a new machine build.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmmm....

Socket AM3+ is officially EOL Q1 '15 so they won't be using it going forward. Think FM2+.

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Heard a rumor about this.

Someone wrote that the XBox One's AMD chip actually had a hidden ARM processor layered into the chip itself. Could MS get away from hiding something like this for so long? Doubtful and I am not sure why they would bother.

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