HP are developing servers that are powered by ARM processors, using the reason that their low energy use will be a deciding factor in the sectors future.
The integration of ARM processors into servers has now moved from being speculation to a reality in the space of two years. The domination of these processors in the mobile field, thanks to their balanced performance and low energy use, has now made its way to servers as energy consummation is a crucial element.
The release of the ARM Cortex-A15 architecture, which integrates some proprietary functions to help in the creation of light servers, has meant that it is now possible to develop ARM servers. In May this year, the president of AMR, Tudor Brown, stated that this category of products should start to become available from 2012-2013, but they wouldn’t start to take off until 2015.
Numerous server manufacturers have presented themselves to participate in the development of such servers. Dell confirmed early this year that they were interested and ready to develop a range of such devices, and that they were simply waiting for the right opportunity.
They won’t be alone, as according to Bloomberg, HP is also currently developing such a project in collaboration with Caldexa, with the development being controlled partly by ARM. While Intel are trying to make ground in the mobile processors and tablets field running the x86 architecture, ARM are looking at opportunities in the server market, controlled 90% by Intel – with the British company being absent.
Positioning in niche markets While the two companies have for a long time followed parallel paths, their points of direct competition are increasing. ARM has taken the lead in tactile tablets in addition to controlling netbooks, leading to Intel’s Atom division failing to make their presence in the mobile segment.
Worse still for Intel, ARM is now supported by numerous chipset manufacturers in the preparation of platforms that will be compatible with the future Windows 8 system on laptop computers. In any event, ARM isn’t able to compete directly with the power offered by x86 processors, but they are able to position themselves in segments where energy consumption is a crucial element.
With partners like Dell and HP, ARM can’t hope to conquer the server market, but rather effectively position themselves to capture niche markets and capture some of the server processors market which is currently valued at 9 billion dollars.