AMD to go 'ambidextrous,' grow another ARM?

Here at AMD's Financial Analyst Day, a procession of top AMD executives—from new CEO Rory Read to new CTO Mark Papermaster and new Sr. VP and GM Lisa Su—has used a metaphor about being "ambidextrous" when it comes to architectures, meaning CPU core instruction set architectures. The somewhat oblique yet obvious implication: that AMD's future products will eventually include chips with ARM CPU cores for markets where it makes sense.

Dr. Su made the boldest statement on this front, proclaiming that AMD will take advantage of all sorts of ecosystems, from Windows 8 to Android. She said AMD will not be "religious" about architectures and touted AMD's "flexibility" as one of its key strategic advantages for the future.

Despite these declarations, the firm hasn't made any specific commitments to ARM-based products on its roadmap, and indeed, the name "ARM" has only been mentioned once so far, almost in passing. AMD remains committed to much of its x86-centric current product roadmap in 2012 and 2013. Looking forward, Su claimed AMD can "absolutely" take an x86-compatible SoC into the sub-2W ultra-low-lower category.

Still, the theme of an "ambidextrous" approach has been echoed by all three key executives when talking about AMD's future direction, very much intentionally.

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