A day after forming the HSA Foundation, AMD announced a strategic partnership with ARM to push the adoption of the TrustZone technology in future APUs. Yes, this means putting an ARM core next to the x86 one.
The company found out that they need to put security on-chip and instead of spending a lot of resources in creating the custom hardware architecture and then building software, AMD decided to engage the newly-found ecosystem called The HSA Foundation. Last year, AMD had ARM on stage to discuss how ARM can drive the OpenCL.
Behind the stage, AMD begun working with ARM on implementing a dedicated Coretex-A5 processor which will serve as the TrustZone security platform. With this simple move, AMD is gaining the identical toolkit with hundreds of millions of smartphones which support or will support the TrustZone technology, originally developd by ARM.
Given that AMD introduced MediaTek, Texas Instruments and Imagination Technologies, you can expect AMD announcing video processing and DSP/MEMS solutions integrated inside the APU, as well as vendors such as Texas Instruments putting AMD IP inside their own silicon. While it may sound odd or unimaginable, the cooperation on silicon vendor between competitors is coming from the semiconductor manufacturing (Common Platform combining IBM, GlobalFoundries and Samsung) to the IP place as well.
AMD will put ARM Cortex-A5 for ARM’s TrustZone security platform in its Kabini and Temash APU and SoC’s.
In conclusion, AMD will provide the world?s first X86+ARM+GPU chips in 2013, while 2014 will see the Cortex-A5 (and future) processors "expanding further across the product portfolio." While AMD declined to disclose the specific hardware, we expect to see the ARM Cortex-A5 making an appearance in low-power chips such as Kabini (successor to Bobcat) and Temash, AMD’s first true SoC.