AMD to Pair ARM, x86 Chips – To Improve Security and Aid in Ultrathin Efforts

Posted by at 3:39 pm on June 14, 2012

AMD has confirmed plans to license ARM technology for chipsets in upcoming ‘ultrathin’ notebooks. The company is stopping short of replacing its x86-based CPU and GPU components, however, as an ARM Cortex-A5 chip will serve as an independent core tasked with running applications in a secure environment via ARM’s Trustzone technology.

“It runs the code in a very isolated environment that is well protected from the bigger x86 environment,” AMD chief information officer Mike Walls told the BBC.

AMD plans to embrace modular designs in upcoming chipsets, leaving open the possibility of ARM cores being used for other tasks aside from security. Modular components containing ARM technology could enable AMD to finally enter the mobile market, or produce servers that take advantage of the power efficiency and low cost of ARM technology. NVIDIA followed a similar path with its popular Tegra platform, which pairs ARM chips with GeForce GPUs for smartphones and tablets.


  • Building on its existing suite of strong security features, AMD is advancing computing security and helping drive the adoption of an open, end-to-end security ecosystem by providing a more secure environment for mobile, Web and cloud based activities with the industry-first adoption of ARM TrustZone technology into x86-based offerings.
  • AMD shares a vision with the TrustZone ecosystem of a consistent, secure computing environment across devices, whether they are powered by ARM-based processors or AMD’s APUs and other x86-based processors.
  • This industry-first partnership addresses the growing needs of consumers and businesses by providing a more secure computing environment across a range of devices.
  • ARM is a leader in semiconductor IP with a vast partner network and is the creator of TrustZone technology, a system-wide approach to security on high performance computing platforms for a huge array of applications.

AMD plans to provide development platforms that have TrustZone security features on select APUs in 2013, expanding further across its product portfolio in 2014.


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