2) Will this have any other impact on mobile users?
The first question is hard to answer right now – the mobile chip industry is quite crowded, with Samsung making many of their own chips, and Apple contracting for chips of their own specification, the off-the-shelf SoC manufacturers are often competing for a much smaller portion of the mobile market. Texas Instruments has already signaled that they will be de-emphasizing mobile devices in future ARM chip designs, NVIDIA is finding some success with its Tegra line of chips, and Intel is spending a lot of R&D trying to muscle its way into mobile devices.
Still, AMD has a long track record of competing with both NVIDIA and Intel, and it will be interesting to see if they decide to tackle the mobile market once they get full scale ARM chip production underway. They have lots of experience with GPUs, so AMD could probably design its own full-fledged SoC without too much trouble. Even if they stick to producing ARM chips for servers though, it should have a positive impact on mobile users. Cloud-based services depend on ever-expanding cloud computing power, and chips that reduce the cost of such servers, not to mention the power cost to run them, will allow companies to scale computing faster and lower the cost of entry to create mobile services that depend on them.
So one way or another AMD’s announcement will benefit phone and tablet users, the only question is whether that benefit will arrive directly (via our phones and tablets) or accrue indirectly (from more and cheaper services). Either way we’re happy to see AMD jump into the ARM chip fray.
source: WSJ via Android Central