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AMD Launches Israeli R&D Center, Hints At Closer ARM Partnership

AMD will open a new research and development center in Israel near Tel Aviv; it will be built around Graphic Remedy, the small startup they purchased in September 2010 which specialises in development tools for heterogeneous computing and 3D graphics.

Although the chip company hasn't published any press releases yet, the news is a clear indication that AMD sees its future in a more fragmented market where x86 is no longer the dominating platform.

The R&D center will focus on the latest heterogeneous computing technologies for the next generation of parallel computing platforms, the news comes two weeks before the opening of AMD's first Fusion Developer summit which will include keynotes from Microsoft and ARM.

ARM's keynote, presented by Fellow and Vice President of Technology of the Media Processing Division, Jem Davies, will cover ARM's future heterogeneous strategy as well as ARM's support for standards like OpenCL (Open Computing Language).

Interestingly, Graphic Remedy's forte lies in OpenCL and OpenGL. Before being acquired by AMD, it created professional software products that allowed developers to deliver "3D graphic and parallel computing applications on multiple platforms."

Their main solution, gDEBugger, is an advanced OpenCL & OpenGL debugger, profiler and memory analyzer which is now available for free following AMD's acquisition.

AMD adopted Open CL for its GPGPU range in 2008 and the framework will prove to be critical for companies looking to port or write applications that can run across heterogeneous platforms like CPUs or GPUs.

It looks therefore likely that AMD is trying to prepare for its future as a company that depends less on its x86 business and more on being a provider catering for solutions that can bridge the x86 and the ARM ecosystems, a strategy that Intel, because of its legacy, just cannot embrace.