CHIP DESIGNER AMD will not license Seamicro's Freedom Fabric interconnect to other chip designers.
AMD's decision to work on an ARM based Opteron chip meant that the firm will be going up against a number of entrenched ARM licensees, however yesterday Lisa Su, SVP and GM of AMD's Global Business Units said Seamicro's Freedom Fabric will set the firm apart. Previously AMD had said it would license the Freedom Fabric interconnect technology but now the firm has told The INQUIRER that it has no plans to license it to other chip vendors.
Andrew Feldman, CEO of Seamicro and now head of AMD's Data Center Server Solutions team told The INQUIRER, "At this time we have no plans to license it to other CPU companies," adding, "The Freedom Fabric is AMD Intellectual Property. No other chip companies can use it unless they license it from AMD."
Feldman confirmed that the interconnect will be embedded into AMD's upcoming ARM based Opterons and said that server builders can buy these chips from AMD to make servers that use the Freedom Fabric. And judging by Feldman's comments, server vendors such as Dell will only be able to get the technology by using AMD's chips.
While AMD had said it would license the Freedom Fabric back in September, it has the right to pick and choose, just like Intel does with X86 licenses. There is every chance that AMD will license the interconnect technology to switch or storage vendors that want to build very specific and niche implementations of it, however it is clear that AMD is banking on Feldman's Freedom Fabric, no matter how poorly named, to help it become a force in the fledgling ARM server market. µ