ARM Holdings plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:ARMH) has been awaiting its entry into the 64-bit processor arena since a long time. If that materializes, the intellectual property chip giant could be impelled into new avenues.
ARM’s move has attracted mixed opinions from analysts, particularly regarding the declaration from one of its latest licensees, Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.(NYSE:AMD).
ARM has recently announced the new Cortex-A50 processor that is based on ARMv8 64-bit architecture. The lineup includes the Cortex-A57 and Cortex-A53 processors that are intended for applications from smartphones to high-end servers.
Calxeda, Samsung, STMicroelectronics, AMD, HiSilicon and Broadcom are included in the series of new processors. It goes without saying that ARM is dominating supplier of processor intellectual property in the evolving smartphone and tablet industry. In an effort to contend in the world of servers, ARM is also putting the IP supplier on a conflict course with Intel in the x86 camp.
AMD will start with integrating ARM-based processors within its SeaMicro Freedom supercompute fabric by the year 2014. The fabric entails three storage attachment offerings to deal with the changing application needs from cloud computing, huge data and the web.
AMD’s plan received praise of an analyst at Insight 64, Nathan Brookwood. He said that over the last decade, the computer industry has merged into two high-volume processor architectures, ARM for mobile gadgets and x86 for personal computers.
An analyst at Barclays Capital, C.J. Muse has a different standpoint in this regard. He feels that investment in both architectures will have significant pressure on AMD resources and it is not yet clear what AMD would bring to the table.
Analysts seem somewhat confident about the surfacing of servers that are based on ARM. An analyst at Raymond James, Hans Mosesmann said that the advancement from 32 bit player Calxeda in niche apps has been witnessed, even though this is likely to become more conventional as products like Applied Micros’s 64-bit X-gene coming to the market in the next few years.