AMD to license ARM architecture for server chips
Chip maker Advanced Micro Devices has announced that it will license the ARM architecture to power a range of new server products scheduled to arrive in 2014. The new ARM-based Opteron processor will be shipped alongside its existing x86-based Opterons, and will be a 64-bit chip. Given that AMD had earlier this year announced plans to integrate ARM technology into its x86-based processor as a security processor, this news doesn't come as a complete surprise.
As reported by PC Magazine, this move entails AMD getting a full-fledged ARM license that will see the company developing a new processor that mixes ARM's technology with its own architecture at the die level. AMD sees the new processors as particularly useful in web servers or enterprise data centers where power draw is a concern, though x86 processors are still considered to be valuable where raw processing power is required.
In making servers with low power consumption, AMD has the advantage of the proprietary high speed data center fabric technology that it gained through its acquisition of micro-server maker SeaMicro. SeaMicro specializes in low-powered high-density servers, and has shipped Atom-based servers packed with as many as 768 cores in a 10U server chassis.