AMD announces “SkyBridge” processors, combining ARM and x86 architectures

AMD announces “SkyBridge” processors, combining ARM and x86 architectures
AMD announced what it calls “ambidextrous computing,” a design motif which will combine ARM processors with its own x86 CPUs. The project is called “SkyBridge” and from a technical perspective, it will bring the two architectures together so that they are pin-compatible, allowing for either design to be used on the same motherboard with little or no changes.

AMD is pursuing this goal in the hopes it will better be able to meet emerging product trends. The company has been on the losing end of the mainstream processor race with Intel for years now, with x86 market share now under 3% of a shrinking PC market base.

The company does not have a presence in mobile and while AMD plans to continue its product line to be available in the traditional PC and server market, it also plans to begin taking license to build its own ARM-based chips.  It will have its own in-house ARM designs by 2016. The K12 as it is called, will be a 64-bit design.

In the immediate term, an ARM-based chip, codenamed “Seattle,” announced last year, will be available this year while AMD puts SkyBridge into play. SkyBridge will be a 20nm design implementation, but AMD has not commented about the manufacturing process. In addition to a common-pin design, processing and graphics will be combined into the design.

AMD has little choice other than to go through such a transformation. The market has spoken when it comes to mainstream computer processors, and while AMDs graphics processors are very competitive, the space where they compete is shrinking dramatically.

SkyBridge should bring flexibility, and we may begin seeing a lot more devices, particularly tablets, sporting an AMD logo.


source: PCWorld

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25 Comments

1. MarkArigayo

Posts: 240; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

AMD, it reminds me of Duron and Thunderbird processors in 1999.

3. ajac09

Posts: 1482; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

man the thunderbird and xp line kicked ass.. duron. yeah.. lol I bought an AMD A6 laptop thinking it would just be good enough for school but I can game on it relatively well and my phenom x4 II processor in my desktop tied with a GTS-250 have lasted sine the day both were brand new. Say what you will about AMD but their stuff works well for me at the price it is compared to intel.

12. MarkArigayo

Posts: 240; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

You're right. K7 was the beginning of AMD entering open battle against Intel. Based on price to performance Duron beated Intel's Celeron easily, along side with Athlon over Pentium III. K8 platform continued AMD's supremacy in term of price to performance ratio but thing has changed once Intel's introduced Core2 line-up. I wish AMD could bring something new in desktop/mobile industry. Gygahertz race was over and AMD needs to reinvent their forces.

23. marbovo

Posts: 658; Member since: May 16, 2013

In Brasil, K6 and Athlon were very popular, I remember my K6-II 500...

2. SuperMaoriBro

Posts: 533; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

I dont understand what all this means, but it sounds good

5. vincelongman

Posts: 5585; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

I think they would be awesome for dual-booting 8.1/Android hybrids Unfortunately MS/Google aren't allowing dual-booting officially But you could set it up yourself

8. renz4

Posts: 319; Member since: Aug 10, 2013

from what i know they still making two separate processor based on x86 or ARM not combining both making it into a processor that capable of handling x86 and ARM instruction set at the same time. all they did was making the same motherboard to be pin compatible between the two so you can use ARM or x86 based processor on the same mobo. if you're thinking of dual booting it is better to use x86 processor and use blue stack to enable Android on AMD's x86 cpu.

4. sks1969

Posts: 108; Member since: Mar 04, 2012

This is what I like about AMD, they do good architecture. They are always ahead with new stuff (they were the first with 64 bit, they were the first to have point to point buses conceptm first to have a memory controller inside the CPU die and so on). Then intel comes in puts in money and changes the game, they either increase CPU speed or do a die shrink. I have heard that they used to arm twist the board designers to force them to use an all intel setup. I have not seen any revolutionary thing coming out of Intel in a long time. That is why they are getting screwed with companies like ARM, Qualcomm

14. Finalflash

Posts: 4061; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Well they did have a bunch of things since core 2, such as Micro/Macro Op fusion, FinFet (3D transistors) and process advancements such as helping make immersion lithography. But they didn't just use underhanded tactics on AMD, they outright cheated. They went monopolist when it came to buying Intel stuff (if you bought an Atom proc, it was $70, but buy it with an Atom mobo by intel, the whole package was $40, so they literally paid you to take the intel mobo forcing OEMs to buy it or pay twice as much for half the stuff). They also started cheating at the software level by disabling advanced features on the x86 compiler for AMD chips (intel is the only one that can make that compiler, thank you USPTO).

6. vincelongman

Posts: 5585; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Sounds good Its about time AMD stepped up their game in the mid/high-end CPU department

7. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

AMD needs another win on the scale and level of the Opteron. Hopefully they will get it. The Intel CPU world is sterile, dull, and expensive.

11. GreekGeek

Posts: 1276; Member since: Mar 22, 2014

Intel cpu's are of poor built and thermally atrocious, their Haswell line isn't designed to last for more than 3 + years not unless you're brave enough to ''delid'' it They aren't supposed to overheat on stock settings using the stock fan, totally unacceptable. Never gonna buy Intel again

13. renz4

Posts: 319; Member since: Aug 10, 2013

is there hard data to back it up (intel haswell won't last 3 years plus)? or is it just an assumption?

25. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

Haswell does run a bit hotter than Ivy Bridge, but not by much. The only times I have ever heard of Haswell overheating was on 4770K's, but that's probably because it's a high performance CPU that gets put through very intensive tasks, that's to be expected on any CPU with a stock cooler. During casual or moderately intensive use, it would never overheat, even with the stock cooler. But, if you're going to run multiple CPU-heavy programs at the same time, you should ALWAYS have 3rd party cooling, no matter what CPU you have.

9. nlbates66

Posts: 328; Member since: Aug 15, 2012

seems a really stupid idea to be honest....

10. fireblade

Posts: 717; Member since: Dec 27, 2013

sounds good. I hope AMD can stand from its fall.

15. refillable

Posts: 1071; Member since: Mar 10, 2014

As a computer technician that looks promising. I wondered why Phonearena posted this? Something like this will definitely appear in techpowerup, tomshardware and anandtech, but not Phonearena...

16. renz4

Posts: 319; Member since: Aug 10, 2013

i bet they interested with the ARM part. but from what i know so far for the tablet space AMD intends to tackle the space with their x86 APU SoC with blue stack for android compatibility. the ARM part was suppose to target stuff like server. i'm not sure if AMD want to make ARM core with GCN graphic to compete directly with the likes of Qualcomm, Mediatek etc.

21. refillable

Posts: 1071; Member since: Mar 10, 2014

Well if you knew about AMD then you must also know that theg like delaying stuff for indefinitive reasons. I hope they are not late on this though. They can attract some OEMs and get a lot of profit if done right. They have a lot of potential. If they can release an reliable ULP SoC in 2016, expect to have dual boot tablets, and even better, phones. Oh well, keep dreaming...

22. renz4

Posts: 319; Member since: Aug 10, 2013

well there is that. to certain extend i'm seeing the delay also affecting their discrete gpu division. they used to be very aggressive with their discrete gpu with having new series each and most of them are not rebrand. it stop after 7k series.

18. vipervoid123

Posts: 163; Member since: Aug 27, 2013

Because in the income year , AMD coming into Tablet market based on the roadmap ~

17. CX3NT3_713

Posts: 2343; Member since: Apr 18, 2011

Dual booting hackintosh!!!

19. Tritinum

Posts: 471; Member since: May 06, 2014

AMD is under rated...

20. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

The problem in using the same x86 board for and ARM processor is that the processor is just one part of the power equation. In order to be competitive in the compact, ARM-based emerging server market, everything must be rethought and redesigned for low power and small size. What works well on one side, doesn't on the other. I'm unimpressed and skeptical, both at the result and at AMD not fully utilizing its dwindling talents.

24. marbovo

Posts: 658; Member since: May 16, 2013

Now that they have both PS4 and Xbox1, they have plenty of time until they cease having money

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