Multi-core ARM processors to soon be seen in servers
April 30th, 2010 - 09:30 am ET by C. D.
While Intel are looking at how best to place their processors in the mobile products market, ARM are getting ready to install their processors in the server field.
ARM is known widely for their processor architectures which are licensed in a diverse range of mobile devices, including mobile phones, Smartphone’s, music players and new connected products.
In the last year, more ambitious products - notably smartbooks, have demonstrated that the ARM architecture isn’t just limited to low energy use processors, with their power also opening up competition with products that operate Intel’s Atom processor.
Taking advantage of their wide use on Smartphone’s and onboard systems, which has greatly contributed to their increased turnover in the first quarter of 2010, it seems that ARM are now looking at projects in new fields.
It was reported by EETimes, who obtained confirmation from Warren East, CEO of ARM Holdings that servers using multi-core ARM processors will be made available in the coming 12 months.
From mobile products to servers This possibility has been on the table for a while but it has now been confirmed by the company. The acquisition of Agnilux by Google has peaked the interest of market observers, in addition to an offer made by Microsoft looking to adapt their products.
While recognising that the ARM architecture is traditionally linked to mobile products, the implementation of the multi-core processor allows for speeds of up to 2 GHz. "The main difference when moving to server processors is that high speed communication interfaces are required", he stated.
The arrival of these servers on the market will allow ARM to directly attack Intel by putting forward one of their great advantages in servers and data centres: energy use.
Energy use in servers has been a point of discussion, with users looking to reduce their energy use, while changing to ARM processors will provide greater energy efficiency options.
Not everything purely surrounds performance, with better performance per Watt used being an interesting point looked at by companies. Numerous companies are already studying the use of multi-core ARM processors, like the Cortex-A9 running at 2 GHz with four cores. We will still have to wait a few months before this will become available though.
Note: the generic term smartbook isn’t to be confused with smartbook AG which is a registered trademark.