updated 08:36 am EDT, Tue June 18, 2013
ARM server chip from AMD first step toward versions for tablets, phones
AMD will be taking its first steps in producing ARM-based processors, according to a new roadmap. The chip manufacturer will be creating "Seattle" processors for the server market which will use ARM Cortex-A57 cores, which could eventually lead to AMD creating ARM processors destined for tablets in the distant future.
The Seattle chips will initially be eight-core offerings that will run at or greater than 2GHz, and is expected to be joined by 16-core versions. Scheduled for the second half of 2014, Seattle will apparently offer between two and four times the performance of AMD Opteron X-Series processors, an improvement in compute-per-Watt, and 128GB DRAM support.
While Seattle will be the first chip that is based on ARM cores instead of the typical x86-based systems, it will not be the first that uses ARM technology. Last year, AMD revealed it would use ARM TrustZone on future Accelerated Processing Units (APU) via a system-on-a-chip (SoC), aimed at embedded systems. The Cortex-A5 used in the SoC would not be employed by user-facing applications, but rather for security.
The same roadmap also shows the x86-based "Berlin", which will be available as both a CPU and APU. Using four "Steamroller" cores and the Heterogenus System Architecture that uses the same memory access for the CPU and GPU, it will give up to eight times the performance compared to current Opteron processors. An enterprise server processor called "Warsaw" is also planned, which will improve performance-per-Watt compared to earlier iterations, and will provide "seamless migration" from the Opteron 6300 Series. Both will be shipping in the first half of 2014.