AMD sneaks out new FX chips, hints at ARM deal

February 6, 2012 // 1:01 p.m.

Tags: #amd #apu #bulldozer #fusion #fx-4710 #fx-6200 #fx-8150-wox #globalfoundries #hsa #ibm #mark-papermaster #rory-read

AMD has released details of three new FX-series processors as the company hints that it might look to a deal with British chip giant ARM for future low-power processor projects.

Spotted by the guys over at CPU World, the three new processors include AMD's first production chip to feature a default clock speed above 4GHz. The FX-4170 is a quad-core part featuring 4.2GHz stock clock with Turbo Core functionality pushing it to 4.3GHz in single- or dual-core mode. 8MB of L3 cache is included, while the chip - in common with all the new FX series parts - has a thermal design profile (TDP) of 125W.

Joining the FX-4710 is the FX-6200, a six-core 3.8GHz part which hits 4.1GHz under Turbo Boost conditions. As with the FX-4170, 8MB of L3 cache is included and the chip is rated at a 125W TDP.

Finally, AMD has opened pre-ordering for stock of its FD8150FRGUWOX, also known as the FX-8150 WOX. Designed as an alternative to the standard FX-8150, the WOX edition has the same eight processing cores running at 3.6GHz and Turbo Core capabilities up to 4.1GHz but swaps the retail heatsink for a stock liquid cooling system.

Available for pre-order from AMD now, the new chips should start to appear in the UK supply channel soon. The FX-4710 is already showing as available from two retailers priced at around £120, while the FX-6200 and FX-8150 WOX have US pre-order prices of $188.48 and $398.29 (around £119 and £252 before taxes) respectively.

News of the new chips comes as AMD chief executive Rory Read quietly let slip that the company's accelerated processing unit (APU) product families are now produced by both spin-off foundry GlobalFoundries and computing giant IBM. Although no reason was given, it seems likely the move to IBM is as a result of poor yields for the chips that have led to certain models - in particular the A8-3850 - being near-impossible to buy.

Finally, an interview between AMD chief technology officer Mark Papermaster and Wired offered a sneak preview of the company's plan for taking on Intel at the low power end of the market.

While Intel is looking to fight ARM and its multifarious licensees head-on with its Atom system-on-chip (SoC) designs, AMD has a different tactic in mind. Asked whether AMD was looking to build ARM IP into its processors, Papermaster evasively stated: 'The answer is not no.'

Intel itself once held an ARM licence, which it used to produce its XScale range of low-power chips. Should AMD enter into an agreement with ARM, it's possible that its future range of Heterogeneous Systems Architecture (HSA) APUs could pack low-power ARM architecture cores for improved performance in mobile and tablet markets.

Tempted by a chip running at 4.2GHz stock, or are you more excited by the news of a possible AMD ARM processor? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

QUICK COMMENT

View this in the forums

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

WEEK IN REVIEW

TOP STORIES

SUGGESTED FOR YOU