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AMD's Seamicro head is not interested in ARM chips

Prefers to wait a couple of years
Tue Sep 11 2012, 03:46
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SAN FRANCISCO: SERVER VENDOR Seamicro has said it will continue to offer Intel Atom based servers and that current ARM processors are not interesting.

Seamicro, which is now part of AMD's server division, became known for its high density servers based on Intel Atom processors. Yet its latest server, the SM15000, features AMD Piledriver and Intel Ivy Bridge Xeon processors. However the company said it will continue developing Intel Atom based servers, since ARM processors are not interesting at this time.

With Seamicro possibly being the most interesting part of AMD, it wasn't all that surprising that the division got its mitts on the first eight-core Piledriver Opteron part. However, while the outfit said that it will ship an Intel Ivy Bridge Xeon based SM15000 server model in November, it made no mention of an ARM based computation card for its SM15000 server.

Andrew Feldman, GM of AMD's data center server division said, "An [ARM Cortex} A9 core cannot stack up, it's not a very interesting part. Looking forward they [ARM] have a new part early 2014, late 2013 depending on who you listen to. Could that be an interesting part? That could be. [...] When there is a good ARM part we will look at it."

AMD recently became an ARM licensee and since its x86 license from Intel isn't helping its bottom line, it is a prudent move to another architecture that looks to have a good future.

However Feldman's comments suggest that AMD's server division won't be going down the ARM server route for a couple of years, leaving the door open for chip designs such as Calxeda to steal a march in what is expected to be a high volume market. µ


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