A move to ARM on the server side is certainly more significant, particularly for Intel. Apple has already signaled its move away from Intel chips for its Mac products, with its own M1 silicon based on ARM designs. Intel’s server chips currently rule the server market, and AMD has already been chipping away at this lucrative market with its own EPYC processors.
Microsoft co-engineered an ARM-based SQ1 processor for the Surface Pro X last year and followed this up with an SQ2 variant a couple of months ago. AMD also worked with Microsoft to create a custom version of its Ryzen processor for the Surface Laptop 3.
Amazon, Microsoft’s main cloud rival, also looks like a significant threat to Intel and AMD, with its own ARM-based Graviton2 processors that were launched a year ago on AWS. Still, ARM-based servers are a small part of the market right now, despite the performance and cost benefits that they can deliver.
Macri then went on to note that AMD would not build any such chip for marketing reasons alone, before digging into the meat of what the company’s concerns are. A hybrid CPU core design with a mix of big and little cores is only useful if there’s scheduler support and, according to Macri, that support just isn’t there in Windows, at least not in a meaningful way that makes the feature appealing to AMD.
Now, a Qualcomm Reference Design (QRD) supposedly containing the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 has made its way to Geekbench. According to the listing, the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 has eight cores and a 2.69 GHz clock speed. While we cannot verify the listing, its ARMv8 (64-bit) Family 8 Model D4B Revision 0′ identifier does not correlate with any other chipsets we are aware of. The listing does not provide any other details about the QRD, but it offers insight into its relative performance.”