updated 02:06 pm EDT, Mon May 5, 2014
AMD details Project Skybridge ambidextrous architecture in processor roadmap
AMD will begin developing its own custom ARM cores, alongside upcoming ARM-based chips such as the Opteron A-Series "Seattle," the company has announced in an investor webcast. The processor maker has signed a licensing agreement with ARM to create its own custom 64-bit ARMv8 CPU core, codenamed K12, as part of the company's move into an "ambidextrous architecture" strategy, which it calls Project Skybridge.
In 2015, AMD will be producing a System on Chip (SoC) based on a 20nm Cortex-A57 cores with AMDs Graphics Core Next (GCN), which will be pin-compatible with the company's next-generation x68-based SoC with Puma+ cores. Both SoCs will have full HSA support. like the company's Kaveri chips, and in theory will fit into the same processor socket, though it is unlikely that the same motherboard will work with both chip designs.
With the ARM SoC, Skybridge will become AMD's first Android-compatible architecture, allowing it to be used in Android devices. Both SoCs appear to be built with the mobile or low-power device market in mind, rather than for desktops.
The following year, AMD aims to be developing its 64-bit ARM cores at the same time as new 64-bit x86 cores, with the first processors based on K12 also set to be introduced. Details about K12 are limited at this time, but it is said that AMD will take "deep advantage" of its ARM architectural license, with the core development team being headed up by chief CPU architect Jim Keller.