Faster development cycles, more APUs, hints at ARM
outlined its strategy for 2012, 2013 and beyond at its Financial Analyst Day on Thursday.
The plans don’t bring anything revolutionary, but there is plenty of good news to report nonetheless. The biggest change is AMD’s plan to ramp up development and speed up development cycles for processors to 18 or 24 months. In doing so, AMD would closely match the shelf life of its APUs to GPU development.
Trinity and Brazos 2.0 were also discussed, but few new details were revealed. Development is on track and we should see the first announcements in a matter of months. In addition to APUs, AMD will also introduce the second generation of FX processors, codenamed Vishera, which will be based on the same Piledriver core destined for Trinity.
In 2013 AMD will go a step further and replace Trinity with Kaveri designs, which will be based on Steamroller cores and GCN graphics. Kabini will succeed Brazos 2.0 and it will be based on the Jaguar design, which is Bobcat-derived. Tamesh will replace Hondo in the tablet market and it will also be based on Jaguar.
In the past AMD did not comment the possibility of embracing the ARM architecture, but it never dismissed it either. Once again AMD is hinting at the possibility of some sort of ARM involvement. The company plans take a new approach to APU development, focusing on what it calls HSA, or Heterogeneous Systems Architecture. HSA is supposed to make mixed workloads that use CPU and GPU processing power a bit easier, by allowing the cores to use the same virtual memory and address space.
The additional flexibility could be used with other processing units, including third party designs, which would probably mean ARM. However, we are treading into speculation here, as details are sketchy to say the least.