ARM-based processors seem to be the future of computing, especially in applications that require power (and heat) efficiency, like tablets and smartphones. Trying to skate to where the puck is going, AMD is starting to research creating ARM processors. Their hope is to supplement their current lineup of desktop, laptop and server processors -- based on an x86 architecture -- with these higher efficiency options.
AMD is quick to point out that their foray into ARM processors is focused on reducing costs and improving efficiency of data centers. That being said, it's hard to believe that it would pump this R&D into making ARM processors without contemplating offering a cheap processor option for phone and tablet manufacturers. It says that the first AMD ARM processors will be coming by 2014.