Lots of potential, lots of concern
are weighing in on AMD’s plans to introduce energy efficient ARM-based Opterons and the jury is still out on the cunning plan.
However, much of the concern has nothing to do with chips as such, but rather the possible lack of demand for micro-servers. ARM-based Opterons are more than a year away and by the time they enter the fray the market could be overcrowded.
On the upside, the use of ARM cores could allow AMD to come up with very efficient chips, backed by AMD’s tech and good relations with server manufacturers. ARM chips could end up a lot more efficient than their x86 counterparts, but the ARM server ecosystem is still in diapers.
Another concern has to do with AMD’s bottom line. Developing an entirely new line of chips will consume a lot of resources and time, and at this point AMD hardly has cash to spare.
It remains to be seen whether AMD’s ARM plans will extend beyond the server space. There is chance we could see some consumer parts as well, but with server chips slated for 2014, don’t expect them anytime soon.