AMD gets ambidextrous with one ARM

AMD is trying to make “ambidextrous” the new buzz-word for computing.

It announced its roadmap of near- and mid-term computing stuff which it says include the best characteristics of both the x86 and ARM “egosystems”.

Apparently ambidextrous has nothing to do with which hand you hold your biro in, but is the mix of AMD gear with ARM.

The cornerstone of this roadmap is the announcement of AMD’s 64-bit ARM architecture licence for the development of custom high-performance cores for high-growth markets.

Rory Read, AMD president and CEO claimed AMD was the only company in the world to deliver high performance and low-power x86 with “leadership graphics”. Now it was boldly going to provide high-performance 64-bit ARM and x86 CPU cores paired with world-class graphics, which no one had done before,

“Our innovative ambidextrous design capability, combined with our portfolio of IP and expertise with high-performance SoCs, means that AMD is set to deliver ambidextrous solutions that enable our customers to change the world in more efficient and powerful ways,” he said, in a statement that makes little sense at all.

AMD is predicting that the market for ARM- and x86-based processors is expected to grow to more than $85 billion by 2017.

He claimed that this was the first time a major processor provider has created the IP path to allow others to leverage innovation across both ARM and x86 egosystems.

On the roadmap is Project SkyBridge which is a design framework, available in 2015, and will feature a new family of 20 nanometer APUs and SoCs that are expected to be the world’s first pin-compatible ARM and x86 processors.

The 64-bit ARM variant of “Project SkyBridge” will be based on the ARM Cortex-A57 core and is AMD’s first Heterogeneous System Architecture (“HSA”) platform for Android; the x86 variant will feature next-generation “Puma+” CPU cores. The “Project SkyBridge” family will feature full SoC integration, AMD Graphics Core Next technology, HSA, and AMD Secure Technology via a dedicated Platform Security Processor (PSP), Read said.

Another landmark on AMDs roadmap is K12 which is a new high-performance, low-power ARM-based core that takes deep advantage of AMD’s ARM architectural licence, extensive 64-bit design expertise, and a core development team led by Chief CPU Architect Jim Keller. The first products based on “K12” are planned for introduction in 2016.

AMD  also demonstrated its 64-bit ARM-based AMD Opteron™ A-Series processor, codenamed “Seattle,” running a Linux environment derived from the Fedora Project.  I’ll go to the foot of my stairs.