AMD's move to rely on ARM for server chips turned out to be a mistake, and the company is putting its faith back in x86 chips.
Instead of ARM-based servers, AMD is relying again on x86 chips, this time based on the promising Zen architecture, to take market share from Intel.
AMD shipped its first ARM-based Opteron A-series processors early this year after delays. The first server chips based on a custom ARM-based core, called K12 core, could be released next year, AMD said, but the company's server strategy next year is centered on Zen and x86.
During a talk at the Pacific Crest Global Technology Leadership Forum in Vail, Colorado, this week, AMD CEO Lisa Su confirmed the company's new strategy.
The ARM server adoption hasn't advanced as quickly as some people might have thought, primarily because of the slow adoption and performance demanded by servers, Su said.
"The demands of the data center are very, very high, and so to get to what I would call good-enough capability, we're still quite not there" with ARM-based chips, Su said.
"From our standpoint, we're going to lead with x86, she added. "The transition for us, in terms of growing share in the data center with x86, will be much faster."
However, AMD will "certainly continue to think about ARM in our portfolio," she added.
With its high-performance Zen x86 chips, AMD hopes it'll deliver performance on par with Intel's server chips. AMD plans to release its own Zen chips for cloud servers, and also wants to couple the CPUs with its Radeon GPUs in high-performance computers.