AMD: No ARM deal in the works, but door not closed either

By on May 11, 2011, 11:00 AM

There's been some speculation the last couple of weeks that AMD is pursuing an ARM architecture license or might even consider buying the company outright. Although rumors that a partnership was in the works were quickly shot down, today the firm's Marketing Director John Taylor made some interesting comments to eWeek, basically saying that they are not closing the doors on such a deal either, seeing as they have "similar views on where the industry is going."

According to Taylor, ARM sees the world very similarly to how AMD does, noting that the industry can't keep pushing CPU-like cores without sacrificing energy efficiency. He goes on to mention how both companies share common ground when it comes to offering balanced computing and seeing the potential of GPUs to push performance.

The company has been championing this message for some time now, predicting the end of the core count wars in favor of efficiency and useful on-die specialized computing capabilities. Indeed they've been giving more importance to parallel processing and the ability to multitask in their Fusion APUs rather than focusing on classic x86 performance, claiming the latter is now almost indistinguishable in common tasks.

AMD likens this change to the end of frequency wars that primed not long ago, in which improvements in each generation of CPUs were largely measured by higher clock speeds.

But even as their low-power Ontario and Zacate mobile processors gain a few backers in the netbook and budget notebook space for bringing solid performance and graphics without hurting battery life, they are still not quite ready for smartphones and tablets -- the rising stars of the market.

AMD is working on bringing power consumption of its chips further down to enter this market. While an ARM deal may not be in the works for now, it seems that they wouldn't be entirely closed to the idea of taking a shortcut with ARM-based Fusion chips, especially seeing how successful Nvidia has been with Tegra.




User Comments: 7

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SSaywell said:

I really hope AMD don't buy ARM

Guest said:

Agreed - I enjoy ARM being a separate entity that just kind of sites on the outskirts on the market, offering solutions for everything.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

All kinds of rumors about ARM, just a couple days ago there was one that Apple was going to move from Intel to ARM processors for future laptops.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

All kinds of rumors about ARM, just a couple days ago there was one that Apple was going to move from Intel to ARM processors for future laptops.

Bear in mind the "source" of the rumour, and the fact that the site pretty much lives on front page bombast for site traffic.

The other side of the coin here

I really hope AMD don't buy ARM

Not exactly likely given the relative market caps of ARM and AMD.....unless Seifert and co get lucky finding a few billion down the back of the couch.

SneekyGeaky said:

Although it would be very interesting, I doubt AMD has the budget right now to acquire such a fast developing entity as ARM, considering AMD's tight operating income these last years. However, if AMD has no secret plans beyond Wichita to counter the rise of ARM's system on chips, then I doubt too that AMD is as ignorant as to not consider licensing RISC technology from ARM Holdings...

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

I doubt AMD has the budget right now to acquire such a fast developing entity as ARM, considering AMD's tight operating income these last years.

Considering ARM Holdings is worth considerably more than AMD, I'd say that was a massive understatement

However, if AMD has no secret plans beyond Wichita to counter the rise of ARM's system on chips, then I doubt too that AMD is as ignorant as to not consider licensing RISC technology from ARM Holdings...

As ignorant as selling off Imageon to Qualcomm (for a pittance) and Xilleon to Broadcom in the first place ?

When was the last time you saw a board of directors admit they screwed up? Unless the BoD lay the blame entirely on Dirk Meyer for selling off AMD's handheld assets, I would doubt you'll see any of the current executives vote to buy a licence for something they gave away for virtual pocket-change three years ago.

Guest said:

AMD is to use a cutdown bobcat core with ARM mali graphics in an APU mashup that will truly shake the industry. Please keep an eye out for the so-called Bob/Mali chip. **Lion.

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