AMD's first ARM processor is 8-core and 64-bit

AMD is turning to the ARM design for a new series of chips, an unmistakable sign that the heyday of "x86" chips is over.

Advanced Micro Devices is trying to make an impression with its first ARM processor.

And it may succeed. The AMD Opteron A1100 series -- targeted at servers -- can integrate 8 processor cores and will be one of the first ARM chips to be 64-bit.

AMD is tapping the Cortex-A57 processor design, the "highest performing processor," according to ARM.

Sample shipments of the silicon will begin this quarter along with a development platform, AMD said Tuesday.

The chip supplier is highlighting the 64-bit aspect of the processor.

"AMD is collaborating with industry leaders to enable a...64-bit software ecosystem for ARM-based designs from compilers and simulators to hypervisors, operating systems and application software," AMD said in a statement.

This also marks a break from its traditional x86 (Intel-compatible)-only strategy, on which the company was built.

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