During a ‘Core Innovation Update’ meeting held by AMD, the company talked about a couple of interesting future parts. “Seattle”, for example, will be a chip released by the end of this year that bundles 8 ARM Cortex-A57 processor cores under the hood, and is built using a 28nm process. Seattle is bound for servers, and was shown to be running a proper LAMP setup (Linux + Web stuffs).
The good stuff is to come in 2015. That’s when we’ll see 20nm SoCs from AMD that could be some of the most ambitious we’ve seen to date: The company wants to make both ARM and x86 versions pin-compatible, so either could be installed into the same motherboard. In a way, this is crazy (in a good way). It’d be like installing either an AMD or an Intel chip into the same socket.
Dubbed SkyBridge, these chips are going to be initially targeted at the embedded market, and not surprisingly, either chip would support AMD’s GCN graphics architecture.
So, that’s all very cool, but what has me most intrigued is that AMD’s hard at work on developing its next x86-compatible chip, and what makes this announcement important is that the part will be “built from scratch”. Further, it’s going to replace Bulldozer, so for once, we’re learning of an AMD part that’s a proper enthusiast-type.
In addition to this chip, AMD is also working to design a similar one featuring ARM cores. Let the speculation run rampant! I can’t imagine a chip having both ARM and x86 cores under the same hood, but maybe AMD has something interesting up its sleeve.
The next year is going to be very interesting. AMD’s future products have the potential to make an impact on the market, and whatever this Bulldozer successor turns out to be, it should at least be interesting.