Zen servers to revert back to x86 architecture instead of ARM

With its upcoming Zen processors, AMD are set to shake-up the monotonous processor market. Alongside the usual consumer-grade chips, the company also plans on developing server processors based on Zen. And it seems that it will go for the long-trusted x86 architecture instead of ARM.

The notion was first discussed by AMD Chief Lisu Su herself, at the Pacific Crest Global Technology Leadership Forum a few days back.

Su stated that due to the server market no quite warming up to ARM as of yet, AMD will manufacture x86 server chips based on Zen technology. She said that the server market demands top-of-the-line performance at all costs, which is not the foray of ARM. And as x86 has been the traditional choice for both desktop consumer and server chips, AMD will give it a leading role in its strategy to conquer the server market once again.

The move is a complete 180-degree shift on AMD’s part, as the company had decided to abandon x86 in favor of ARM for server chips back in 2013. That was the time when ARM was earning quite a reputation, especially in the mobile sector. In fact, to this very day, ARM dominates the mobile segment, as most smartphone chipsets are ARM-based.

But as one might expect, ARM is not quite fast enough for large-scale datacenters. AMD had hoped that it could develop more capable ARM-based server chips, but it seems that it didn’t quite turn out very well for the company.

Having said that, AMD is not entirely moving away from ARM. It is still planning on releasing the first-ever server chips based on an ARM core, called K12. But expect that to be a rarity going into the future, as the company has decided refocus its attention on x86.

Zen will expectedly release early next year, and will likely arrive in two waves. The first one would be dedicated to the consumer chips, while the second would see server chips hitting store shelves. So don’t expect any Zen-based server processors anytime soon.

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