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ARM-Based Servers Expected by 2011

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.

  • thomaseron
    interresting... :-)
    Reply
  • nforce4max
    Sweet :P

    I can see my self slaving for a month or two for on of these low power servers for a off grid project. IP over short wave and CB radio is a few other projects I want to start. P2P over short wave is another cool idea.
    Reply
  • Tomtompiper
    So Microsoft have employed somebody to program for Arm, better late than never I suppose.

    Reply
  • lukeeu
    Well.. software is there. If they'll be cheap enough I might even buy one. This would appeal to people making home servers from Linksys access points and set-top boxes.. If they make hardware compatible and interchangeable (like with PC) they might succeed
    Reply
  • segio526
    Man, Intel just can't catch a break with Atom can they? Not that I'm an Atom fan anyway.
    Reply
  • lukeeu
    TomtompiperSo Microsoft have employed somebody to program for Arm, better late than never I suppose.MS has released at least 10 editions of Windows CE and Mobile for ARM :-)
    Reply
  • Pyroflea
    Linux has a huge share when it comes to servers. Good thing numerous Linux distros have been ported to Arm already. :)
    Reply
  • anamaniac
    segio526Man, Intel just can't catch a break with Atom can they? Not that I'm an Atom fan anyway.Me neither. I like VIA though.
    Reply
  • yay
    Some really honestly cool news, make this your next ipad level investigation please Toms.
    Reply
  • g00ey
    But I'm still curious about VLIW and EPIC based CPU architectures that are supposed to deal with the shortcomings of the RISC architecture which is what the ARM CPUs are based on.
    Reply