While stressing its continuing commitment to the x86 architecture, AMD has revealed plans to offer 64-bit ARM server processors aimed at the data centre market. President and CEO Rory Read described this as an "ambidextrous strategy".
The company's reasoning is that today's highly parallelised workloads - especially those in the cloud segment - are better handled by larger numbers of simpler processors.
According to Lisa Su, senior vice president and general manager of AMD's global business units, ARM processors deliver more computational power per dollar or per watt than traditional architectures, providing they can be cost-effectively clustered.
The company's SeaMicro Freedom fabric - which also accommodates x86 processors - is said to be the answer to this problem.
AMD's strategy is being backed by Red Hat, which has already begun preparations to add 64-bit ARM support to Fedora and OpenJDK (Java).
"At Red Hat we see potential for such integrated, energy-efficient servers. That’s why today we are proud to advance our long-standing relationship with AMD by displaying a commitment to ARM processors," said Jon Masters, Red Hat's chief ARM architect.
"We believe that in this new era of energy-efficient, high density, hyperscale computing, ARM processors will increasingly play a role as an alternative architecture," he added.
ARM CEO Warren East said "The industry needs to continuously innovate across markets to meet costumers' ever-increasing demands, and ARM and our partners are enabling increasingly energy-efficient computing solutions to address these needs."
"By collaborating with ARM, AMD is able to leverage its extraordinary portfolio of IP, including its AMD Freedom supercompute fabric, with ARM 64-bit processor cores to build solutions that deliver on this demand and transform the industry," he added.