AMD unveils plans for 64-bit ARM processors for servers

AMD unveils plans for 64-bit ARM processors for servers

Summary: AMD executives asserted that the chipmaker will be the first company to offer both 64-bit ARM and x86 server processors.


SAN FRANCISCO -- AMD has announced that it is teaming up with ARM to develop 64-bit ARM processors for servers to meet growing challenges for data centers.

"AMD will transform the computing data center environment today," said AMD CEO and president Rory Read during a press conference on Monday afternoon, asserting that AMD will be the first company to offer both 64-bit ARM and x86 server processors.

Lisa Su, senior vice president and general manager of global business units at AMD, remarked that data centers are being inundated with mass amounts of data, suggesting that there has to be a way to solve this problem more efficiently.

Su described that the last five years have exploded with mobile devices and new business models, which have translated into a tremendous amount of strain and heavy workloads, which are changing at unprecedented rates.

She cited a statistic asserting that global data center IP traffic will grow by more than 30 percent on a compounded annual growth rate, or 6.6 zettabytes, within five years.

"The data center is where we think the growth will be and where the innovation will be," Su said, arguing that ARM technology-based CPUs can revolutionize the data center by providing disruptive compute per dollar and compute per watt rates.

"We're going to open up the next level of computing with ARM 64, transforming the server area into a whole new opportunity," Read also commented, adding that includes differentiated IP across "an ambidextrous architecture."

While that strategy might seem complex, the end goal is simple: deliver lower-cost solutions on a faster timeline.

Read argued that together, "AMD and ARM can change the industry landscape" because they "share a common vision about the industry" as well as a vision on "how to disrupt it together."

ARM CEO Warren East delivered his address via video, which was shot in the back of a London black taxi cab at Heathrow International Airport as his travel plans were derailed by Hurricane Sandy.

Basically, both parties are trying to frame this as a win-win situation.

East explained that ARM forged a partnership with AMD because of the chipmaker's knowledge of the channel, system designers, and the software ecosystem required in the server space makes for "a great match." Su added that ARM has a great client ecosystem as well.

ARM-based AMD Opteron processors for servers are scheduled to launch in 2014. These ARM technology-based processors will embed the AMD SeaMicro Freedom supercompute fabric, which Su quipped is the "secret sauce" behind this solution.

Additionally, AMD executives said the company will continue to design x86 CPUs and APUs for client and server markets.

Topics: Hardware, Laptops, PCs, Tech Industry

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Cue arrow striking bullseye sound...

    That arrow is straight into Intel's heart...
    Tony Burzio
  • What did I tell you!

    I told you AMD was partnering up with ARM to meld their 64-bit technologies with it.

    This is no surprise, because AMD was present at many ARM technology shows, talking about heterogenous computing and OpenCL. Microsoft is also interested in this. Windows RT is just the start. Once WinRT is adopted by all the top productivity software vendors, Windows apps will be platform independent. What Microsoft needs to do by the time ARM meets 64-bit (probably Windows 9 timeframe), is to make ARM compatibility mandatory for WinRT apps.

    Now, just bring on the ARM APU's with DX11+ gfx!!!
  • Good move AMD

    If only they listened to their employees (including me) and took a bold chance mobile few years back ;-). However, competition will be tough in the the ARM server market.
  • shoot him!

    Someone please shoot that CEO. Thank you.
    He keeps on screwing up AMD !.

    The only interesting thing that comes out of AMD is graphics (Thanks to ATI)

    Since AMD is not trying hard anymore, amd is loosing customers and not even knowing it.

    I am an AMD enthusiast, but only High end toys interest me, and AMD lacks it, so how can I recommend them to my customers even for low end? They don't even try to suit my needs.

    I am not stupid to fall for the FX line:
    -2 cores pretending to be 2 cores when really one (THis is like HT, butt AMD decided to lie about it)
    -crappy floating point/crappy performance
    -very small L1 cache
    -Hight Latency L1/L2/L3 cache
    -Increased pipeline with penalties and higher power usage
    -Increased cpu speed to make it look faster then the old but les cpu efficiency

    I know AMD is trying to make their cores smaller so floating point can be done on the GPU, but the FX line has no GPU integrated, and also AMD has not found a way to offload/integrate the GPU in a way so that the CPU can use the GPU for floating point and make up for the loss in CPU floating point power.

    I remember the days I was boasting about the AMD floating point performance, and at a time AMD was on top, even had their own 3d instructions, and now AMD goes in a entirely opposite direction. I doubt AMD will ever be used in high end super computers again, do how inefficient the cpus are.

    On launch date AMD needed a plan A and B. Plan B should of been a tweaked version of the Penom II x6 core that ran faster, that would makes the FX line look bad, but at least AMD would have a solution at the time to make customers happy when the FX lineup flopped (which it did). AMD was trying too hard to design something that will work good in the future and not realize that customers buy budget computers for now, not later, as later they will be useless so who cars if its better under windows 8 when windows 7 is now and that is what business will probably stick too.

    Even in the server space, the old 12 core cpu is way better then the new 16 core cpu. And for 3d rendering, I would choose the old.
  • As a network administrator

    I would love to sit in a server room that doesn't have 200 fans running at once. This low power server push is reassuring.