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AMD Licenses ARM Holdings Design to Boost Chip Security

June 13, 2012

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD:US), the second-largest maker of computer processors, said it will license a design from ARM Holdings Plc (ARM) and build it into AMD chips to improve their security.

ARM’s A5 design, normally used to provide security in mobile phones, will start to function in that role as part of AMD processors beginning next year, AMD Chief Information Officer Mike Wolfe said in a telephone interview. The first chips will be those designed for tablets and ultrathin laptops, he said.

AMD is the second-largest maker of a type of chip that dominates the personal-computer industry, Intel Corp. (INTC:US)’s so- called X86. The company is bringing in technology from the mobile-phone business to help it compete with Intel, which bought McAfee Inc. last year to beef up the security capabilities of its processors.

ARM, based in Cambridge, England, is the largest provider of technology used in mobile-phone chips. Its customers include Qualcomm Inc. and Texas Instruments Inc.

Sunnyvale, California-based AMD, whose PC processors employ Intel technology, chose ARM’s design for the security function because it’s more widely used and there’s more software written for it, Wolfe said.

AMD rose 3.9 percent to $5.91 yesterday at the New York close. The shares have gained 9.4 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ian King in San Francisco at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at

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