Tuesday , July 5 2022

AMD would work on a processor like the Apple M1


The Apple M1 seems to threaten the x86 hegemony of Intel and AMD with excellent performance at low TDP without the need for active cooling. Obvious, x86 processors will continue to rule for quite some time, as many industry standard programs still compile for x86_64.

But anyhow, Apple and Qualcomm may not be the only ones fighting in ARM space. AMD is rumored to want to jump into ARM architecture as well. Even an end product may not be far away.

AMD has been working with its ARM processor since 2016

The well-known delicious Mauri QHD has tweeted it AMD already has an M1 prototype underway. It says the company is developing two versions of the chip: one with built-in RAM and one without. Apparently the prototype is “almost finished.” No other information is available.

While information on the supposed M1 competitor is still scarce, this is not the first time we’ve heard of this new ARM-related AMD design.

In 2016, when Jim Keller was at the forefront of CPU issues at AMD, the company announced K12 Core, a chip based on the design ARM v8 of 64 bits. But that chip never came on the market. Earlier this year in May Komachi Ensaka managed to create an AMD roadmap that strangely listed an entry K12 FFX between the years 2017 and 2022.

Assume this call K12 FFX be true, it can be intended for ultra-low power laptops and other mobile devices. Hopefully when this chip hits the market, Microsoft working with AMD could improve x86 emulation on ARM. Or better yet, AMD can enable an x86 consistency model like the M1 to speed up older applications. This is something like currently not possible on Snapdragon chips.

Not so long ago, AMD’s patent that pertains “Implementation of subsets of low power operation instructions” appeared online, which presented different patterns of hybrid processors for mobile devices. Although it is not entirely clear whether these patterns are for x86 or ARM, it points to the fact that a radically new low-power CPU architecture is being prepared in AMD’s laboratories.

As always, such rumors should be viewed with caution. In fact, there were rumors of one AMD Ryzen C7 ARM SoC with a mobile GPU RDNA2 on board, which later turned out to be false. However, the probability does not seem so remote at this point, and traditional x86 chip makers would do well to have an ARM option as well.

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