Making good on its vow to seek out other, more lucrative markets in light of dwindling PC sales, AMD is placing its bets on servers, and is using technologies from rival chip maker ARM to pave the way.
At a press event Monday in San Francisco, AMD announced a new partnership with ARM through which the two, traditionally competing chip makers will together usher in a new generation of low-power servers for data centers. The new technology, which AMD said will start launching in 2014, will merge ARM's low-power, 64-bit chip architectures with the fabric technologies AMD gleaned through its February acquisition of microserver vendor SeaMicro.
"ARM and AMD together can change the industry landscape, drive true competition, and spur the next level of server innovation," AMD CEO Rory Read said at Monday's event.
The new partnership will bring together two long-time rival chip architectures, melding AMD's x86-based designs, which are also leveraged by rival chip maker Intel, with ARM's low-power architectures traditionally found in mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Still, it is not the first instance in which AMD and ARM have joined forces; AMD announced in June that it was licensing ARM's TrustZone security technology for use within its own x86-based APUs.
[Related: AMD Eyes Tablet Market With New Z-60 APUs]
AMD, which refers to this blending of x86- and ARM-based architectures as its "ambidextrous strategy," stressed that it will still continue producing new server technologies that exclusively use x86-based designs.
The first technology to be born out of AMD's new partnership with ARM will be a system-on-a-ship (SoC) optimized for dense, low-power servers, AMD said. It will marry AMD's Opteron server processors and SeaMicro supercompute fabrics with ARM's 64-bit architectures.
AMD said these new, heterogeneous server processors will be aimed at helping data centers handle the influx of data pouring into them from trends such as cloud computing, mobility and social media.
This new partnership with ARM comes on the heels of AMD's announcement earlier this month that it plans to lay off approximately 15 percent of its global workforce -- or 1,770 employees -- in a bid to remain competitive and cut down on operational costs. The chip maker also reported bleak third-quarter financial results, with its revenue sliding 25 percent year-over-year.
Read said during a call with analysts announcing the chip maker's third-quarter results that AMD, moving forward, would be looking to grow its footprint in both the mobile and server markets, as traditional PC sales have plummeted over the past few months.
PUBLISHED OCT. 29, 2012