Jim Keller joined Mark Papermaster on stage at AMD's Core Innovation Update press conference and added a few more details to AMD's K12 announcement. Keller stressed AMD's expertise in building high frequency cores, as well as marrying the strengths of AMD's big cores with those of its low power cores. The resulting K12 core is a 64-bit ARM design, but Jim Keller also revealed that his team is working on a corresponding 64-bit x86 core.

The x86 counterpart doesn't have a publicly known name at this point, but it is a new design built from the ground up.

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  • coburn_c - Monday, May 5, 2014 - link

    ARM will never be put in a desktop. ARM is optimized for low power usage, if you try to do desktop workloads with it you end up using more power than the equivalent x86 part. I'm pretty sure one of these three articles that should have really been one article states they have no intent on ARM desktop parts.
  • mrdude - Monday, May 5, 2014 - link

    What in the world does the ISA have to do with 'optimized for low power usage'? You're aware that there's no technical reason ARM can't match x86 or even surpass it, right? The reason ARM is focused on low power today is because historically that's where they've made their money -- embedded products tend to require low power and supreme efficiency. Currently ARM dominates the mobile market, again a market that requires low power and supreme efficiency. Nothing's stopping Qualcomm from designing a giant ARM core that chews through power but offers great performance at the top end. In fact, Apple is already sorta making that step ;P
  • Anders CT - Monday, May 5, 2014 - link

    @ coburn

    I am writing this on an ARM laptop with rather decent performance. Arm chips may be historically optimized for low power usage, but that is not an inherent trait of the instruction set.
  • gruffi - Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - link

    ARM can also be optimized for high performance. AMD will develop their own ARM design to launch in 2016. So, there is definitely the opportunity to offer desktop systems based on ARM. It's not a question of hardware. It's a question of software support, especially the OS.
  • Gizmosis350k - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Indeed, Windows 8.2 will offer out of the box support for ARM and everything that AMD is working on. The system will be able to handle workloads never thought possible with minimal overhead
  • andrewaggb - Monday, May 5, 2014 - link

    that's what I think as well. These might be nearly identical cpu's from an architecture point of view, one with an arm instruction set decoder and one with an x86 instruction set decoder, both of which will likely map to some internal instruction set the cpu actually understands. Seems pretty reasonable to me. Might even be able to use the same motherboards and everything.
  • Flunk - Monday, May 5, 2014 - link

    I expect you're right, the only difference will be on the front-end with the back-end being the same. All modern x86 CPUs are RISC on the back-end now.
  • Zoomer - Monday, May 5, 2014 - link

    A ARM decoder for a *dozer *driver architecture would be very, very interesting.

    And absolutely dominate in performance.
  • Gigaplex - Monday, May 5, 2014 - link

    What makes you think that? The dozer architecture isn't that fast (at least compared to Intel)
  • silverblue - Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - link

    An FX Steamroller or Excavator might yield some surprises, should AMD ever release either. However, this may only be true in terms of parallelism and not clock speed as the process doesn't seem to support the latter.

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