AMD and ARM partnership for ‘Trustzone’

AMD announced that they are making a partnership with ARM so that they will incorporate some of ARM’s technologies into their future APUs. The deal is that AMD will have mini ARM-powered processors checking for malicious code whilst the main x86 cores run. This can be very helpful especially for people running Windows (a majority), as a virus is really only bad if it gets executed; otherwise, it sits around and does nothing except maybe take up disk space and maybe RAM.

AMD plans to implent the technology on certain models of APUs next year and extend the range of products with it in 2014.

This partnership, now quite small, could be the harbinger of a new era of the technology world, with ARM holding more power. As you know, ARM is growing in popularity in tablets and phones, and even Windows 8 is being released for the ARM architecture. This is mainly due to the power efficiency when compared to the x86 architecture. But could this partnership be due to AMD trying to gain the market share advantage when/if ARM becomes more popular than x86, led by Intel today.

It seems quite obvious that AMD would profit in the future, and ARM would also benefit by having their technology guaranteed in a place where they are not currently powerful. But why, then, would they not strike a deal with Intel? Perhaps AMD came up with the idea. There seem to be not really any positives for AMD over Intel in the amount of products will contain the technology. Alternately, Intel could have refused, or ARM could have thought Intel might refuse, but AMD would not. For a while, AMD was known to be more creative when it came to features in their products. For example, there was the APU before Intel came out with their iGP on the CPU, which was actually originally on a separate silicon die.

But regardless of who ARM striked the deal with, it is a sign that things are going to change rather soon.

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