AMD Blasts Rumors of Dropping x86 for ARM

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hellwig

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Who was saying AMD would drop x86 entirely for ARM? That would be a bit ridiculous. AMD would simply become an ARM manufacturer (like TI, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Samsung, etc..). However, AMD seems to be adamantly denying any desire to create ARM processors, which is silly if you ask me. They need to branch-out, not be tied to x86 and be at the mercy of whatever Intel decides to do next (e.g. another SSE extension). AMD has to hope Intel will even license that tech to them, and then be able to afford it. With ARM, the prices are fair because so many are already manufacturing the chips. AMD has the experience to start making good ARM products and getting those products out there.

Hell, if Intel weren't so invested in x86 (they have to keep their patents alive), even they might start making ARM processors. Thing is, Intel wants to own the market, you can't own a market making the same thing everyone else makes (which is why they so desperately want AMD out of the x86 business). AMD seems to be trying to follow Intel. At this point, AMD should just be trying to make money. Even when they were better, AMD still couldn't beat Intel.

Right now, people are buying ARM, it's an exploding market (more people own cell phones than computers). It just makes sense to be in on that market, rather than trying to push the inefficient, long-in-the-tooth x86 on everyone. Let Intel waste their billions on that folly. If Intel carves a market out for ultra-mobile x86 processors, you can serve up your offering. In the meantime, there's no market there, and, sadly, no one is going to follow AMD into unknown territory.
 

tacoslave

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the mobile space is what amd should be vying for its the only space that intel hasn't conquered and its going to be big in a couple years. Besides they have the graphics devision to blast anyone(except nvidia but without them it wouldnt be fun :p)out of the water. As hellwig said they should be concerned with making cash not following intel.
 
[citation][nom]hellwig[/nom]In the meantime, there's no market there, and, sadly, no one is going to follow AMD into unknown territory.[/citation]

I agree with all, but that lil' statement. From the pure "arch" point, you CAN make CISC (x86 in this case) as light as RISC in power consumption and be close to it in performance IMO (not going into details here, but it can be done, I'm sure). But the thin red line of licensing might be on Intel's way of bringing down x86 into that territory. The closer u're on perf/watt to what ARM has now, the closer you are to their licenses, I'd say. Software wise, I'm clueless about which one is easier/cheaper to develop on; that is, thinking about ultra portables. So, there is a market IMO.

This is going to be an interesting battle in the coming years, just like when 8086 won back then, lol.

Cheers!
 

deltatux

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I think AMD should keep x86 manufacturing and also manufacture ARM processors for low power clients like HTPCs, tablets, cell phone processors and etc. while still addressing the desktop, server and HPC market with x86.

Yes, x86 is ancient and it's time for it to slowly die out for a more modern and open design. Even Microsoft realized this when they announced Windows 8 being ported to ARM. Windows NT has had a run in with RISC architectures before like PowerPC, SPARC and etc.
 

jkflipflop98

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[citation][nom]hellwig[/nom]Who was saying AMD would drop x86 entirely for ARM? That would be a bit ridiculous. AMD would simply become an ARM manufacturer (like TI, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Samsung, etc..). However, AMD seems to be adamantly denying any desire to create ARM processors, which is silly if you ask me. They need to branch-out, not be tied to x86 and be at the mercy of whatever Intel decides to do next (e.g. another SSE extension). AMD has to hope Intel will even license that tech to them, and then be able to afford it. With ARM, the prices are fair because so many are already manufacturing the chips. AMD has the experience to start making good ARM products and getting those products out there. Hell, if Intel weren't so invested in x86 (they have to keep their patents alive), even they might start making ARM processors. Thing is, Intel wants to own the market, you can't own a market making the same thing everyone else makes (which is why they so desperately want AMD out of the x86 business). AMD seems to be trying to follow Intel. At this point, AMD should just be trying to make money. Even when they were better, AMD still couldn't beat Intel.Right now, people are buying ARM, it's an exploding market (more people own cell phones than computers). It just makes sense to be in on that market, rather than trying to push the inefficient, long-in-the-tooth x86 on everyone. Let Intel waste their billions on that folly. If Intel carves a market out for ultra-mobile x86 processors, you can serve up your offering. In the meantime, there's no market there, and, sadly, no one is going to follow AMD into unknown territory.[/citation]


You are so off the mark on every single point that it's kind of funny.
 

hellwig

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[citation][nom]jkflipflop98[/nom]You are so off the mark on every single point that it's kind of funny.[/citation]
Let me go ahead and analyze your counter argument ... oh right, you didn't present one. Good job!
 

mianmian

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Nvidia already put their GPU together into ARM chips. Now AMD might do that as well. An ARM chip with low power Radeon GPU? Possible.
 

greliu

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This is going to seem stupid, but. Why is everyone saying x86 needs to die? I know it's old, but what's going to replace it in the desktop market? I see that ARM makes sense in the mobile and portable scene, but not in desktops. What I'm thinking is that ARM and x86 should be killed and we need photonic processors lol. But, seriously, what's wrong with x86? I'm new to some of this stuff so please be kind lol.
 
[citation][nom]greliu[/nom]This is going to seem stupid, but. Why is everyone saying x86 needs to die? I know it's old, but what's going to replace it in the desktop market? I see that ARM makes sense in the mobile and portable scene, but not in desktops. What I'm thinking is that ARM and x86 should be killed and we need photonic processors lol. But, seriously, what's wrong with x86? I'm new to some of this stuff so please be kind lol.[/citation]

Well, there are several factors that make "x86" something you would not be very fond of... The one and foremost is Intel's monopoly (basically) on the licensing around it. So, if it weren't for AMD, it would be a real monopoly; back in the day, as I remember, IBM told Intel to license their tech to another company (AMD) so they could still buy processors from them and have a choice of providers. That's what I remember, could be a lil' different though :p

The CISC arch behind x86 itself ain't a bad thing (in itself) at all. It's just different from the RISC behind ARM, but like people stated around, there's a lil' red line between those 2 anyway. But since Intel holds every software around it's proprietary instructions sets (you now MMX is mandatory nowadays? :p), making "improvements" around x86 is REALLY hard if you're not Intel. RISC has its spawning around IBM, ARM and Sun (now in Oracle's claws) if I recall it correctly (plus ARM licensing to third parties), so you have a lil' more competition behind it.

That's how I remember it though, feel free to add facts into my memories XD

So, it's not that "x86 is a bad thing" at all. But (IMO) is kinda boring that x86 is still around unchallenged as a "common" development arch. And that's a Desktop rant anyway :p

Cheers!
 

c_herring

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VIA also makes the most RISC-like x86 CPUs. Basically, fewer dedicated execution units, I think. Which means it takes more cycles to complete the same instructions as a CPU that has more dedicated execution units, because it's interpreting bigger instructions as a series of simpler instructions. VIA compensates for this by including a few specialized execution units for things like encryption, so their CPUs are more attractive for their intended use in security systems, kiosks, and thinclients.

This could have gotten really interesting if AMD was going to do Fusion with ARM+Radeon, like how NVidia did ARM+GeForce (Tegra). First thing I noticed when Microsoft demo'd Windows 8 ARM was it's on a Tegra system.

The low-end could be ARM, with the high-end remaining x86. Unless AMD has little faith in Windows 8 ARM? Granted, they probably know more about it - and most importantly, more about its compatibility or lack thereof with x86 Windows - than we do, yet.
 

CarbonJoe

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[citation][nom]hellwig[/nom]Hell, if Intel weren't so invested in x86 (they have to keep their patents alive), even they might start making ARM processors.[/citation]
Intel used to make ARM based processors (XScale), but they sold that product line off to Marvell.
 

ta152h

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x86 isn't an architecture, please stop producing stupid articles that don't know the difference between an architecture and an instruction set. In fact, modern x86 processors don't even execute x86 instructions directly, so their architecture is one level removed from it. Netburst was an architecture. P6(Pentium Pro to Nehalem) is an architecture. Sandy Bridge is a new architecture. K8 is an architecture. x86 is an instruction set with varying architectures based on it. I don't know why this would be confusing. It's quite simple.

 

ta152h

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[citation][nom]Yuka[/nom]I agree with all, but that lil' statement. From the pure "arch" point, you CAN make CISC (x86 in this case) as light as RISC in power consumption and be close to it in performance IMO (not going into details here, but it can be done, I'm sure). But the thin red line of licensing might be on Intel's way of bringing down x86 into that territory. The closer u're on perf/watt to what ARM has now, the closer you are to their licenses, I'd say. Software wise, I'm clueless about which one is easier/cheaper to develop on; that is, thinking about ultra portables. So, there is a market IMO.This is going to be an interesting battle in the coming years, just like when 8086 won back then, lol.Cheers![/citation]

The 8086 didn't win, the 8088 did. The distinction is important, because one of the main reasons they chose the 8088 was because it was 8-bit externally, and made it much cheaper to implement, while still maintaining the instruction set and huge addressable memory of a 16-bit processor.

If the 68008 were out sooner, IBM might have made a different choice.
 

decrypted

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Cellphone tech has been accelerating at an insane rate. I've already read phones due out early 2012 will be 4 core, 2Ghz+ with 12Mp cameras. As for desktops, I truly believe in the not too distant future (less than 10 years) the core processor structure needs to change. Not just going from 64bit to 128bit, but rather a new ground-up design change. To me the CPU function will diminish with the majority of the work load being handled by GPGPUs.
 

blppt

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[citation][nom]memadmax[/nom]AMD's entire history is just intel *clone*......[/citation]

Erm---except for say, a little AMD innovation known as x86-64 which pretty much singlehandedly foiled Intel's plans for Itanium world domination... :)
 
G

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x86-64 is what saved AMD from extinction. Intel wanted to drop x86 in favour of their new 64-bit Itanium 'superchip'. By the time they realised it totally sucked, AMD had already gone mainstream with x86-64, forcing Intel to license it from AMD to catch up. Now both companies depend on each other's licenses so Intel can't totally call the shots.
 

ceteras

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I wonder who at intel decided once upon a time to sell their ARM division?
Their xscale processors were ARM-based, but they were intended as replacement for the old i860 and i960 (used in printers, raid controllers and other peripherals iirc).
That kind of experience combined with current high tech, could have given them a strong advance in mobile market.
So now intel has to make x86 feasible for mobile solutions, which in my opinion is like trying to fit an elephant in a beetle.
AMD has always been more versatile and I really hope they will add ARM to their portfolio.
This would give them more revenues, and a stronger AMD would in the end mean better products from both AMD and intel.
 
[citation][nom]asfhasdljkfh[/nom]x86-64 is what saved AMD from extinction. [/citation]
Microsoft also deserves some credit. They told Intel that they were not going to support 2 instruction sets for Windows.
 

jkflipflop98

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[citation][nom]hellwig[/nom]Let me go ahead and analyze your counter argument ... oh right, you didn't present one. Good job![/citation]

Well, if you insist. . .
[citation][nom]hellwig[/nom]Who was saying AMD would drop x86 entirely for ARM? That would be a bit ridiculous. AMD would simply become an ARM manufacturer (like TI, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Samsung, etc..). [/citation]
AMD doesn't manufacture anything. They're a design house.

[citation][nom]hellwig[/nom]However, AMD seems to be adamantly denying any desire to create ARM processors, which is silly if you ask me. They need to branch-out, not be tied to x86 and be at the mercy of whatever Intel decides to do next (e.g. another SSE extension). AMD has to hope Intel will even license that tech to them, and then be able to afford it.[/citation]
Intel has a perpetual and mutual licensing agreement with AMD. They can use x86 free of charge along with any changes and/or updates we provide. In return, we get to freely use any changes and/or updates AMD comes up with for x86. Please, explain what you mean by "at intel's mercy" and how they have "to hope they can afford" a license that's provided to them free of charge.
[citation][nom]hellwig[/nom] With ARM, the prices are fair because so many are already manufacturing the chips. AMD has the experience to start making good ARM products and getting those products out there. Hell, if Intel weren't so invested in x86 (they have to keep their patents alive), even they might start making ARM processors. Thing is, Intel wants to own the market, you can't own a market making the same thing everyone else makes (which is why they so desperately want AMD out of the x86 business). [/citation]
The LAST thing Intel wants is AMD to go out of business. And I assure you, the performance gap between x86 and any arm device is the reason we still use x86, not because "we want to hold onto our patents". Where are you pulling this stuff from?

[citation][nom]hellwig[/nom]AMD seems to be trying to follow Intel. At this point, AMD should just be trying to make money.[/citation]
And this is different than the last 30+ years how?

[citation][nom]hellwig[/nom]Right now, people are buying ARM, it's an exploding market (more people own cell phones than computers). It just makes sense to be in on that market, rather than trying to push the inefficient, long-in-the-tooth x86 on everyone. Let Intel waste their billions on that folly. If Intel carves a market out for ultra-mobile x86 processors, you can serve up your offering. In the meantime, there's no market there, and, sadly, no one is going to follow AMD into unknown territory.[/citation]
x86 is NOT inefficent. You listen to too many lame-o fanboys on forums such as this one instead of actually trying things out for yourself. Just because something is old doesn't mean it sucks. There's many reasons why x86 is still the king. There may be better suited parts for certain tasks, but x86 can't be beat across the workloads it performs.

And, there is one hell of a market out there just waiting for x86 to go ultra mobile. They just need it to go mobile without sucking down their battery in an hour. Don't worry, you'll see that happen soon enough. As it stands, I'm enjoying this x86 ported version of honeycomb.
 
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