Arm Holdings chief executive officer Warren East told EE Times Wednesday that servers based on ARM multicore processors should arrive within the next twelve months. The news confirms previous speculation stemming from Google's acquisition of Agnilux and a recent job advertisement posted by Microsoft. East said that the current architecture, designed for client-side computing, can also be used in server applications.
"The architecture can support server application as it is," he said while discussing the company's first quarter financial results. "The implementations [of ARM] have traditionally been aimed at relatively low performance optimized for minimum power consumption. But we are seeing higher speed, multicore implementations now pushing up to 2 GHz. The main difference for a server processor is the addition of high-speed communications interfaces."
Can ARM stand up against rivals Intel and AMD in the server market? In regards to raw processing power, the current ARM processors can't compete with x86. But with a growing concern to reduce the amount of energy consumed by servers and server farms, ARM processors pose as a viable candidate, especially the multi-core options in the higher range.
"We are seeing people experimenting with multiple ARM cores on a chip," East said. "They have the option to use our A9 at 2 GHz, and four cores. So people can do server experiments with the existing technology at the high-end of the road-map."
East did not elaborate on the parties considering ARM-based servers. Softpedia also points out that there was also no indication that the company plans to go head to head with Intel's Xeon and AMD's Opteron series. Instead ARM may limit its options to the print and storage server market.