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AMD reveals it’s ready to embrace Arm processors

Arm has been on the rise in the computing world, especially since Apple announced it’s converting to the architecture for its Mac range. And now it looks like AMD wants to jump aboard the bandwagon. 

As reported by Tom’s Hardware, AMD’s CFO Devinder Kumar revealed that the company is ready to start making Arm-based processors. 

“We have a very good relationship with ARM. And we understand that our customers want to work with us with that particular product to deliver the solutions,” Devinder Kumar said. “We stand ready to go ahead and do that even though it’s not x86, although we believe x86 is a dominant strength in that area.” 

However, AMD didn’t outright confirm it’s currently working on developing any Arm-based processors, so we may still have to wait a number of years until such a chip sees the light of day. 

There’s also no guarantee that AMD would launch an Arm chip for desktop PCs or laptops, like Apple has done with the iMac and MacBook Air. Instead, it’s more likely that AMD will use Arm technology for data centres, or even develop chips for other customers like Nvidia did for the Nintendo Switch

In fact, AMD CEO Lisa Su even hinted at the possibility of making Arm chips for customers earlier this year, as she said:

“We actually consider ARM as a partner in many respects. From an AMD standpoint, we consider ourselves sort of the high-performance computing solution working with our customers, and that is certainly the way we look at this. And if it means ARM for certain customers, we would certainly consider something in that realm as well.”

Valve is one of the most recent AMD customers, with the upcoming Steam Deck using a Ryzen processor. That will be running on an x86 processor, but it’s certainly possible that AMD could be using Arm chips for similar devices in the future. 

However, there is a fly in the ointment, since Nvidia is currently in the process of acquiring Arm. If the acquisition is completed, AMD will be in the strange position of working with its fierce GPU rival in order to develop Arm-based processors. That said, Nvidia has already confirmed it’s happy to work with competitors and honour licensing commitments, so in theory, it shouldn’t impact AMD’s plans whatever they may be. 

The Trusted Take

It’s certainly big news that AMD could be developing Arm processors in the future, but it’s hardly a surprise. AMD’s already building its Ryzen processors on Intel-made x86 architecture, so it’s not that strange of a move to start working with the likes of Arm and Nvidia too. 

But of course, this doesn’t mean that we’ll start seeing Arm-based AMD chips in any desktop PC or laptop anytime soon. It’s far more likely that AMD will be sticking to data centres and fulfilling orders for other customers for the foreseeable future, even if the Arm uprising in the laptop space is inevitable at this point. 

Ryan Jones

By

Computing and Gaming Editor

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