AMD continued to move towards its goal of what it calls “ambidextrous computing” this week as it announced “Project Skybridge”, a framework for merging ARM processors and AMD x86 chips.
The project will combine ARM processors with AMD’s own x86 CPUs to make them pin-compatible, meaning SkyBridge chips would be able to be used on the same motherboard with little to no changes whether they are based on ARM or x86…
"There's no doubt that AMD is transforming," AMD Cheif Executive Rory Read said. "We're building a differentiated AMD."
It will be this differentiation and expansion that will be crucial to AMD in the future. The company has been seriously struggling in competition with Intel in both the PC and server spheres, with just 2.8 percent of the server market from a 2006 high of just over 26 percent. In recent times, AMD has been focused on more specialized markets, creating semi-custom chips for games consoles (AMD chips are in both the PS4 and Xbox One) and trying to find other niches for its products.
The flexibility enabled by SkyBridge could be significant for AMD, and we could be seeing a lot more mobile devices (particularly tablets) featuring AMD hardware in the near future.
This year, AMD will be making its first ARM-based chip - nicknamed “Seattle” - available whilst it begins to implements SkyBridge, and the tech giant hopes to have its own in-house ARM designs by 2016.