AMD unveils first ARM chip

Chipmaker takes wraps off 64-bit processor aimed at datacentre and cloud tasks.


Chip firm AMD has revealed details of its first ARM Risc-based processor.

Speaking at a press conference in San Francisco, AMD's director of the embedded solutions group, Arun Iyengar, said the company's new low-power Hierofalcon system-on-a-chip (SoC) would be available from the middle of next year.

The silicon will be aimed at storage and network infrastructures running in datacentres and the cloud, which is the same market Intel is gunning for with its C2000 Atom SoC chips. AMD hopes to release an ARM-based chip aimed at servers codenamed Seattle.

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The Hierofalcon SoC will come with either four or eight Cortex-A57 cores and will support 10 Gigabit Ethernet and PCI Express 3.0. Power consumption of the 28nm processor will range from 15W to 30W. The chip is expected to run at speeds of up to 2.0GHz.

AMD said the 64-bit ARM chips would be four times faster and more power efficient that its range of quad-core x86 Opteron chips.

"There are different customer needs in different segments of this market - from low-power to high-performance, Linux to Windows, x86 to ARM - and now with our upcoming product portfolio, we are addressing them by providing embedded design engineers with a range of solutions backed by our embedded longevity program for supply stability assurance to fit their every need," said Iyengar.

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The firm also showed off two x86-based chips with integrated graphics.

The Steppe Eagle is part of the low-power G-Series range of APUs that are designed to offer increased performance per Watt, while the Bald Eagle is a continuation of the R-Series high performance chips and is available as both an APU or GPU.

The company also plans to launch a standalone GPU, codenamed Adelaar by the end of the year that includes 2GB of GDDR5 memory. It will be offered as a multi-chip module or on a PCI-E expansion board.

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