AMD’s first ARM-based chip for tablets coming in 2014?

AMD has long been the closing thing Intel has to competition in the x86 processor space. Now the company is also gearing up to take on Samsung, Qualcomm, NVIDIA, and other companies that produce chips based on ARM architecture.

The company has already announced plans to produce ARM-based chips for servers in 2014. According to SweClockers, AMD will also start producing ARM-based chips for tablets and other consumer devices next year as well.

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SweClockers says the news comes from an anonymous AMD executive.

The chip will be based on ARMv8 architecture and will likely be a 64-bit processor based on ARM’s Cortex-A57 and/or Cortex-A53 designs.

That alone wouldn’t be enough to set AMD’s chip apart from the competition. ARM licenses its designed to a number of companies, and several have already announced plans to produce chips using ARMv8 designs.

But AMD’s chip will reportedly use AMD’s own graphics technology, which it’s calling Graphics Core Next, or GCN.

AMD has been one of the leaders in the PC graphics space since the chip maker acquired ATI Technologies in 2006. Now it looks like the company will be bringing some of its experience in graphics to the mobile space.

It won’t be the first company to take this approach. NVIDIA was best known for making graphics cards for PCs up until a few years ago, but now NVIDIA’s Tegra processors for phones, tablets, and other mobile devices are among the company’s most visible products.

  • brian

    With bay trail this may be too little too late. On the CPU side AMD seems to be a solid follower, a position they took up soon after the first athlon64 was released.

    • Dave Mcpherson

      your right … but only from the high end desktop side on the mobile side amd is very strong on the graphics side so i think if they implement the first gen correctly i think they will be firm competitors and if they cot implement there new api “mantle” and support it with lots of apps i fill they will be firm market leaders
      – that’s just my 2 cents thought :)

      • CyberGusa

        Problem is a lot of things also require good CPU performance, even games can suck if the GPU isn’t also matched with an adequate CPU performance.

        While, what often happens with AMD is they have to under clock their CPU’s to reach competitive power consumption ranges.

        Like their present Jaguar cores being limited to only 1GHz for the dual core Temash models, and also lower clock for the GPU as well…

        So, the GPU performance may be more than competitive but the lack of CPU performance does hurt them and these models that will use ARM processors won’t immediately help as they’re only claiming performance to match or rival their present Jaguar cores.

        Another issue is achieving mobile power efficiency has been a long time problem for them. They have lagged significantly behind Intel on that front and even their latest Temash SoCs don’t offer true mobile optimization… Lacking for example any support for mobile features like Always Connected Standby.

        The only time AMD’s SoCs can power sip down to low mw states is in a S3 suspend state that isn’t doing anything at all in the background.

        Such lack of mw power sipping states means not only no Always Connected Standby but also no support for low power states needed for long talk times in phone capable devices and other mobile features that lets these mobile devices go days and even weeks between charging, if not used regularly.

        Adopting ARM may help in this regard but the GPU tends to be the greatest power load in a system and unless they can keep that under control then the change may not mean much… we’ll have to wait and see of course but that’s how it stands right now…

      • Dave Mcpherson

        never thought of it in that way thanks for explaining

    • asdjf

      Bay Trail is still too expensive for what it actually offers. Things are worth it when the price checks the performance.

      • Vcoleiro1

        Bay Trail price is in line with other similiar ARM offerings. That too expensive line is a myth.

      • CyberGusa

        Nonsense, the only really high priced Intel products are the Intel Core series processors.

        ATOM SoCs are offered at prices that are only a little higher than what ARM SoCs charge, and Bay Trail is officially even cheaper than the previous Clover Trail! So the price difference is pretty negligible now and Intel can argue they are offering more for the price as there’s far less hardware fragmentation to deal with and you can more easily run a wide range of software than is available for ARM yet!

        Really, in these devices you pay more for LTE modem, Windows License, WACOM digitizer, etc. than you do for the ATOM SoC!

  • Vcoleiro1

    Wow, how many companies are making/designing mobile SOC’s .
    Seems like there are way to many as it is. Can’t help but think something needs to give.
    Next year there will be:

    Samsung, Intel, Apple, TSMC, Qualcomm, Imagination, AMD, Nvidia, MediaTek, Allwinner, RockChip, FreeScale ….