AMD would work on a processor like the Apple M1

The Apple M1 seems the x86 hegemony of Intel and AMD with excellent performance at low TDP without the need for active cooling. Of course, x86 processors will continue to rule for quite some timeas many standard programs still compile for x86_64.

Nevertheless, Apple and Qualcomm may not be the only ones fighting in the ARM space. Rumor has it that AMD wants to jump to the ARM architecture as well. Even an end product may not be far away.

AMD has been working on its ARM processor since 2016

The famous leaker Mauri QHD tweeted that AMD already has an M1 prototype underway. It says the company is developing two versions of the chip: one with built-in RAM and one without. Apparently the prototype is “almost ready”. No other information is available.

While information about the alleged M1 competitor is still sparse, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard about this new ARM-related AMD design.

In 2016, when Jim Keller was at the forefront of CPU issues at AMD, the company announced the K12 core, a chip based on the design ARM v8 the 64 bits. However, that chip never came onto the market. Earlier this year in May Komachi Ensaka managed to create an AMD roadmap that curiously listed one entry «K12 FFX» between the years 2017 and 2022.

Based on this call «K12 FFX» genuine, it may be for ultra-low-powered laptops and other mobile devices. Hopefully by the time this chip hits the market, By partnering with AMD, Microsoft could improve the x86 emulation on ARM. Or even better, AMD can enable an x86 consistency model like the M1 to speed up legacy applications. This is something that currently not possible on Snapdragon chips.

Not long ago, AMD’s patents related to the “Implementation of instruction subsets for low power operations” appeared online, covering several designs from hybrid processors for mobile devices. While it is not entirely clear whether these designs are for x86 or ARM, it indicates that a radically new energy-efficient CPU architecture is being prepared in AMD labs.

As always, such rumors should be viewed with caution. In fact, there were rumors about one AMD Ryzen C7 ARM SoC with a mobile GPU RDNA2 on board, which later turned out to be false. However, the likelihood doesn’t seem too far off at this point and traditional x86 chip makers would do well to have an ARM alternative as well.

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