AMD mulls custom ARM 64-bit server chips

12. August 2014
Advanced Micro Devices may be willing to make custom ARM server chips for customers, much like it made custom chips for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 game consoles.

The chip maker will consider customizing its 64-bit ARM server processor to meet specific customer needs as a market for the new type of servers evolves, and the company gets better visibility of usage models, said Sean White, an engineer at Advanced Micro Devices, during a presentation at the Hot Chips conference in Cupertino, California.

ARM chips are used mostly in mobile devices and are yet unproven in servers. But there is growing interest in using the low-power processors for Web-hosting and cloud applications. AMD's ARM server chips could go into dense servers and process such applications while saving power, White said.

"There are more and more of those applications that are showing up in big data centers," White said. "They don't want traditional high-end... database type workloads."

No 64-bit ARM servers have shipped yet, but AMD said its chips will be in servers by year end. As ARM server use grows, the usage model will become clearer, and AMD has the architectural flexibility to tweak chips to meet the specific needs of customers, much like it did for MicrosoftMicrosoft and Sony on their latest game consoles, White said. Alles zu Microsoft auf CIO.de

"If you want to customize an SOC to exactly what you want, or to put on a piece of your [intellectual property]... you can do that in here," White said.