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AMD Hints at Possible ARM Partnership

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 55 comments

AMD will be holding its first software developers conference, the AMD Fusion Developer Summit, from June 13 to 16.

The event will take place in Bellevue, WA, which is Microsoft's neighborhood and the home of a huge software developer community. Plus, AMD told us, the weather is "heavenly" at this time of the year in the Seattle area, which made it an overall better place for this event than Silicon Valley.    

Consider it to be AMD's version of a software IDF, even if AMD says that the conference will be all about content and won't have the marketing slant of IDF and there will not be any celebrity appearances, which would mean that AMD will not be competing with Intel over Will.i.am. The purpose of the event is, we were told, to educate developers how to take advantage of AMD's hardware, which would be primarily its APUs. However, AMD also said that it would be releasing some information about its next-gen GPUs and how they can interact with software. The really interesting part of this conference is the fact that AMD sends out announcements highlight one of the big keynote speakers, ARM's Jem Davies. The press release as well as press calls make sure that the fact that ARM will be at this event does not go unnoticed.

We obviously wondered whether AMD would do this just to rub Intel's nose in a partnership with a rival or whether they may be more. You don't get any answers, if you don't ask. So we asked. AMD's John Taylor responded with the general note that AMD is always looking in possible new technologies, while noting that AMD already developed MIPS-based products in the past, which we took as a note that it really does not have to be always x86 for AMD. Taylor stressed, however, that AMD's focus will remain x86.

Could AMD be developing ARM-based designs to compete in tablets, netbooks and smartphones? Absolutely. The official version for the reason of Davies speaking at the event is a focus on open acceleration standards such as OpenCL, but that would be rather thin. We believe that there is much more that will be announced. Imagine ARM-based AMD GPUs and the company's competitive position against Intel: Spicy!           

If you plan on attending, you can get a ticket for $300. AMD expects about 500 to 600 developers to sign up.    

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  • 0 Hide
    dogman_1234 , April 26, 2011 4:05 AM
    do you have to be a developer? I would like to attend to get some insight as for their ARM idea and also a future career at AMD.
  • -1 Hide
    x4dm , April 26, 2011 4:10 AM
    So does this mean that AMD is just giving up?
  • 0 Hide
    sabot00 , April 26, 2011 4:14 AM
    x4dmSo does this mean that AMD is just giving up?

    Of course not, it could mean they are seeing what they think is writing on the walls and wanted to abandon x86, keep in that AMD's ultimate vision, the Fusion processor will not be a Phenom + GPU, it would have homogeneous dual-capability cores. So basically 1 core could do both CPU and GPU work.

    This also means the future completed fusion could probably work well with both ARM and x86.
  • 0 Hide
    sudeshc , April 26, 2011 4:28 AM
    AMD is gr8 in all other CPU markets except ARM thats where ARM comes into picture, imagine AMD+ARM Intel will be in trouble and also Samsung will be trouble.
  • 0 Hide
    jkflipflop98 , April 26, 2011 4:34 AM
    . . . or they've realized that they're never going to catch the lead dog and they're trying something new.
  • 2 Hide
    Marco925 , April 26, 2011 4:43 AM
    jkflipflop98. . . or they've realized that they're never going to catch the lead dog and they're trying something new.

    or they're using their heads and branching out to other profitable areas.
  • 5 Hide
    alhanelem , April 26, 2011 4:48 AM
    or maybe ARM asked AMD to give them a 'hand' .... get it?
  • 1 Hide
    Ragnar-Kon , April 26, 2011 4:54 AM
    Marco925or they're using their heads and branching out to other profitable areas.

    +1

    Would be stupid to pretend that ARM isn't going to be a huge player in the future. Especially in the mobile market. I honestly wouldn't mind if ARM takes over x86 in the desktop market, but ARM will need a lot of work for that to happen.
  • -1 Hide
    DjEaZy , April 26, 2011 5:14 AM
    ... i would glad to have an iPhone with radeon in it... tegra ir an ARM/nVidia chip... so why not a ARM/ATi?
  • 1 Hide
    fyasko , April 26, 2011 5:17 AM
    x4dmSo does this mean that AMD is just giving up?

    no it means AMD has to do what intel doesn't in order to thrive. "get in where you fit in!" - snoop dogg
  • 1 Hide
    aznshinobi , April 26, 2011 5:21 AM
    Not to burst your bubble, but ATI is dead. AMD's the name now.
  • 0 Hide
    DjEaZy , April 26, 2011 5:25 AM
    DjEaZy... i would glad to have an iPhone with radeon in it... tegra ir an ARM/nVidia chip... so why not a ARM/ATi?



    AznShinobiNot to burst your bubble, but ATI is dead. AMD's the name now.


    ... but you get the point?
  • 2 Hide
    dallaswits , April 26, 2011 5:27 AM
    I welcome any competition that will drive innovation that will drive competition, etc.
  • 0 Hide
    kartu , April 26, 2011 6:27 AM
    DjEaZy... i would glad to have an iPhone with radeon in it... tegra ir an ARM/nVidia chip... so why not a ARM/ATi?

    Oh, and what would you do with it? Encode video? Animate menus "even smoother"? Play games? Sigh...
  • 0 Hide
    Blessedman , April 26, 2011 7:01 AM
    They see how Nvidia is starting to dominate the market with tegra2 and AMD wants a piece of the pie.
  • 2 Hide
    bluekoala , April 26, 2011 8:06 AM
    I want a phone with an ARMADAMIT chipset
  • 1 Hide
    Tomtompiper , April 26, 2011 8:12 AM
    BlessedmanThey see how Nvidia is starting to dominate the market with tegra2 and AMD wants a piece of the pie.



    Tegra 2 devices are few and far between, Nvidia is at best a bit player in the Arm marketplace and to think otherwise is a mistake.
  • 0 Hide
    aaron88_7 , April 26, 2011 8:31 AM
    alhanelemor maybe ARM asked AMD to give them a 'hand' .... get it?

    haha
  • 0 Hide
    i_am_aronman , April 26, 2011 9:39 AM
    Not that i am not interested in what will happen with this (hopefully good things) but the lack of bulldozer news is disturbing...
  • 1 Hide
    punnar , April 26, 2011 10:08 AM
    "Of course not, it could mean they are seeing what they think is writing on the walls and wanted to abandon x86"

    I partly agree. I agree that they may see it as writing on the wall to get into the bandwagon of mobile devices but they don’t necessary need to abandon x86 altogether. Any good business will follow where the money goes.
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