Advertisement

Intel has been facing some trouble lately with the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities, and new competition might come to the chipmaker from a group of former employees. Former Intel president Renée James is starting a new chip company, poised to use Intel’s rival ARM architecture.

That company is called Ampere, and it’s using chips from Applied Micro Circuits built on ARM. Ampere acquired Applied Micro from Macom Technology Solutions in October, according to The New York Times. Companies including Microsoft and Cloudflare have expressed interest in the Qualcomm Centriq 2400, a server processor based on design licenses from ARM Holdings, as a possible rival for otherwise dominant Intel.

Ampere is betting big on ARM, saying their Skylark, a 32-core server processor, will run up to 3.3 GHz with 1 TB of memory per socket while using just 125 watts of power at most. That puts James in a desirable spot for large data center operators, such as those backing up cloud computing and artificial intelligence applications. Ampere offers products in three categories: data center and cloud solutions, ARM processors, and development platforms.

James brings a lot of Intel expertise to Ampere. She worked there for 28 years before her resignation in 2015, and says that she brought “several” designers from both Intel and chipmaker AMD into Ampere’s leadership. The Silicon Valley-based Ampere has 300 employees, with offices in Santa Clara, Calif., Portland, Ore., and Taiwan. It also includes chip design centers in India and Vietnam.

Real Time Digital Reporter
Advertisement
Advertisement