AMD took another step ahead toward what it calls "ambidextrous computing" , announcing a framework for bringing together ARM processors with its own X86 chips in what it calls "Project Skybridge".
From a technical standpoint, Project SkyBridge combines the world’s two most popular processor architectures: X86, a high-performance chip architcture which dominates the PC, server, and notebook space, and ARM, the low-power, de facto chip architecture for tablets and smartphones. SkyBridge chips, whether they be based on ARM or X86, will be pin-compatible, meaning that they will be able to be used on the same motherboard with minimal changes, if any.
For AMD, SkyBridge and ARM represents an opportunity to break out from the X86 rat race, where it has been competing with Intel in the PC, X86, and server space. At a press conference Monday, AMD said that it would take an architectural license from ARM to begin developing its own in-house ARM chips by 2016, known as the K12. In the meantime, it showed off "Seattle," or Opteron A1100, which the company announced last year. Seattle integrates up to eight ARM A57-based core designed by ARM itself.
Between 2014 and 2016, however, AMD will establish SkyBridge, which it calls a framework for future computing efforts in the client and embedded space. Although many expected AMD to push forward after Seattle with additional server chips, AMD shied away from declaring SkyBridge a technology for the server space, instead characterizing it as a broader approach for a variety of markets, including APUs that combine processing and graphics.
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