A new report by tech guru Charlie Demerjian suggests that AMD and ARM may be teaming up to design a common on-chip interface and interconnect.
“You can take a Bobcat chip, yank the GPU, and slap a Mali or Imagination block in,” Demerjian wrote in an article on SemiAccurate.com.
“Want a quad-core A15 that runs ATI demos? A shoelace tip controller that bootstraps a 6970? [Or] how about a Bulldozer or Trinity that uses that custom accelerator block that Google or Facebook is probably working on? No problem.”
However, Demerjian acknowledged there is “one other problem,” with the above-mentioned paradigm, as ARM cores and IP are actually the “easy part” of a theoretical AMD-ARM equation.
“[Yes], they are synthesizable with a small number of custom arrays and easily portable across process technologies,” he explained.
“You can make them just about anywhere, and you can make them with a lot of different tools. You can’t do this with AMD CPUs, they are just the opposite, right?”
According to Demerjian, the “whole crazy scheme” would obviously require an AMD core with the same versatile capabilities as ARM – synthesizable and easily portable.
“This is a non-negotiable point, it must not just be in place, it needs to be in place long long before you expect to talk to customers and partners, much less expect silicon on the market.
“Long long before means you need to start designing the core with these goals in mind years before you see any fruit from the project. [So] if there is anyone who thinks Dirk Meyer didn’t have a consumer electronics strategy, or that it wasn’t in place long ago, well, you were wrong.”