The Tech News Blog

May 5, 2014

AMD Goes All In for ARM With Future ‘Project Skybridge’ Chips

AMD Logo

The word of the day for Advanced Micro Devices is "ambidextrous."

AMD on Monday announced it is going all-in with the ARM architecture, unveiling a multi-year product roadmap that dips equally into the x86 and ARM instruction sets for future client, server, and embedded processors.

It was the strongest statement yet from the chip maker that ARM will be as important to its product development going forward as x86, the instruction set which AMD and its larger rival Intel have made the dominant force in PC and server chips over the past couple of decades.

"Today is about innovation," said AMD president and CEO Rory Read at a press conference in San Francisco. "Today, we're going to talk about that next step as we embark upon our ambidextrous roadmap to develop a 'skybridge' technology that connects our IP on a single SoC."

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June 13, 2012

Report: Windows RT to Include ‘Office 2013 RT’

Office 2013

Microsoft is in Orlando, Fla. spreading the gospel about its next-generation Windows 8 operating system at its TechEd Conference and on Tuesday offered a first look at Office on Windows RT, the Windows 8 variant for ARM-based systems.

Office for ARM will be called "Office 2013 RT," according to Ars Technica, which reported from TechEd that this version of Microsoft's productivity suite "includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, and will ship as an integral part of Windows RT."

Microsoft is set to release Windows 8 later this year, with a lot of speculation suggesting a splashy launch party in October. Windows 8 is Microsoft's first OS designed for both PCs and mobile devices like tablets and smartphones—and also for the first time, it's got a version tailored specifically for chips based on the ARM architecture in addition to the versions for the x86 chips made by Intel, Advanced Micro Devices, and a few others.

May 10, 2012

Mozilla, Google Irked by IE-Only Windows RT

Mozilla and Google have hit back at Microsoft over what they consider to be restrictive browser settings within the Windows on ARM version of the upcoming Windows 8 OS.

In a Wednesday blog post, Harvey Anderson, Mozilla's general counsel, argued that "Windows on ARM - as currently designed - restricts user choice, reduces competition and chills innovation."

Microsoft will release a version of its OS - dubbed Windows RT - that is optimized for ARM processors. Like the other versions of Windows 8, it will include two environments: the classic Windows interface and the more Windows Phone-esque Metro style option.

According to Mozilla's Anderson, however, "Windows on ARM prohibits any browser except for Internet Explorer from running in the privileged 'Windows Classic' environment."

"In practice, this means that only Internet Explorer will be able to perform many of the advanced computing functions vital to modern browsers in terms of speed, stability, and security to which users have grown accustomed," Anderson wrote. "Given that IE can run in Windows on ARM, there is no technical reason to conclude other browsers can't do the same."

September 16, 2011

Windows 8 on ARM Won’t Run Legacy Windows Apps

Microsoft executives said this week that Windows 8 tablets using an ARM chip will not be able to run legacy Windows 7 applications, with the possible exception of Office.

This week, Microsoft held an analyst meeting in conjunction with BUILD, its developer conference in Anaheim, where the company talked more about Windows 8 and provided the first code to developers. (For more, see's hands-on of the Windows 8 preview.)

At that conference, however, Microsoft executives said they had made it "very clear" that Windows 7 legacy applications would not run on Windows 8-based ARM tablets - a fact that arguably hasn't been made clear at all.

"I think I said that if it runs on a Windows 7 PC, it'll run on Windows 8," Steven Sinofsky, the president of Microsoft's Windows, said, according to the transcript. "So, all the Windows 7 PCs are X86 or 64-bit.

May 4, 2011

Does Intel Really Want to be Apple’s Foundry?

By Damon Poeter

Intel is rumored to be looking for a new business opportunity that seems positively counter-intuitive—providing Apple with foundry services for the ARM-based chips that go into iPhones, iPads and iPods.

That's what Piper Jaffray analyst Gus Richard thinks, at least.

''Based on a number of inputs, we believe Intel is also vying for Apple's foundry business," Richard said, according to an EE Times report published this week.

''It makes strategic sense for both companies. The combination of Apple's growing demand and market share in smart phones and tablets gives Intel a position in these markets and drives the logic volume Intel needs to stay ahead in manufacturing," the Piper Jaffray analyst said.

January 5, 2011

Next Generation of Windows Will Run on ARM

By Lance Ulanoff

Microsoft Windows logo

LAS VEGAS—Microsoft did a rare thing today and gave a glimpse of the somewhat distant future of Windows: a world in which the venerable operating system is capable of running on almost any System on a Chip (SoC), including those from Intel, AMD and, more radically, ARM-based systems from Qualcomm, Nvidia, and Texas Instruments.

In an unusual event before Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's keynote event, Microsoft not only talked through the importance of Windows running lean and mean on relatively low-powered and seemingly ubiquitous small form factor SoCs, but showed unnamed early builds of the next-gen Windows operating system running on Tegra 2 and Qualcomm Snapdragon-based systems. Granted, these were not what regular people would call PCs or even mobile devices. They were essentially gigantic motherboards with the SoCs at their core. Microsoft engineers and developer and partners are using systems like these to make Windows and even partner peripherals work.