Recent AMD news hasn’t been the positive kind. With slumping sales, the company laid off 15% of its staff last month. For the past few years, AMD hasn’t had the best of luck. Even though AMD did create the Opteron chip a few years ago, and this chip was revolutionary, the company hasn’t done much since.
Eaten up by the competition, AMD seems to have lost its way. But, there may be a glimmer of hope on the horizon.
Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports that AMD is currently working on a new chip. What’s the big deal? This chip will be based on ARM design. If ARM design sounds familiar, that’s because it’s the same sort of chip that’s in most of today’s cellphones. If successful, AMD will be the first company to create an ARM server chip.
What The New AMD Chip Will Be Used For
AMD’s new ARM chip won’t be cellphone bound. Instead, AMD plans to market the new chip towards companies that have lots and lots of servers. Really though, an ARM chip isn’t such a big stretch. ARM chips are a “greener” choice, since these chips take a lot less power – a marketing angle that AMD might be considering.
While taking less power tends to mean a slower chip, certain massive companies won’t mind the slowdown. Bloomberg uses companies like Facebook as an example, since Facebook (and other large companies) have thousands of servers. A slower chip that takes less energy is the perfect solution, and that slowdown won’t even be detected.
As Bloomberg also points out, ARM chips aren’t perfect. In addition to slowdown, these chips can’t support a number of things that existing X86 chips can. Things like a large amount of memory, for example. So, this is the task that AMD has to undertake – a task that must be completed with 15% of AMD’s staff.
Seemingly, AMD has cut down on staff pay in order to focus on creating the next big chip. If AMD fails at this task, the company might be sunk for good.
If any company can create a new ARM chip of this sort, the company might be back on top again. AMD hasn’t really found a new niche since the former Opteron chip. In fact, competitor companies have largely swallowed AMD whole. It’s also worth pointing out that AMD tends to have a “less than” reputation when it comes to companies like Nvidia.
AMD’s chips are always less expensive, though it isn’t completely fair to discount the chips that AMD has put out this far. Often, AMD and Nvidia are directly compared chip for chip, with most consumers leaning towards the Nvidia brand name. In truth, AMD has created some chips that are definitely worth using and remembering.
Hopefully, AMD will be able to stay on top with the new ARM chip. Right now, the company is in development stage, but time is ticking as sales continue to slump. Stay tuned for an update when (and if) AMD’s ARM chip goes to market.