Data Center CPU Startup Nuvia Will Design Custom Arm Architecture

(Image credit: The Next Platform)

In an interview with The Next Platform, Nuvia has said that it is designing a clean sheet architecture based on the Arm architecture, for its data center chips. The startup came out of stealth mode late last year and is aiming for “double-digit” performance improvements.

Jon Carvill, vice president of marketing at Nuvia and previously working at Intel, disclosed some of the startup’s plans in an interview with The Next Platform. Carvill noted that data centers are getting constrained by thermals. He also seemed to refer to Intel’s delays of 10nm, as Intel has been reliant on its Skylake architecture for much of last several years.

“They have not seen any meaningful improvement in IPC in CPU performance in some time. If you look at the last five years, they have largely had the same architectures. They have had incremental improvements in basic CPU performance. There’s been some new workloads on the scene and there’s been a lot of improvements in areas like AI and some other corner cases, for sure. But if you look at the core CPU, can you think of the last time you have seen a big meaningful difference or change in the datacenter?”

In particular, Carvill said that the startup is aiming specifically at the cloud service providers (also called hyperscalers), ignoring the more traditional enterprise segment of the data center. It wants to deliver “significant” improvements in performance, and said hyperscalers have shared information about their workloads.

“This is a server-class CPU, with an SoC surrounding it, and it is designed to be the clear-cut winner on each of those categories – and in totality. And we are not talking about the incremental performance improvements that we have come to expect over the past five years. We are talking about really meaningful, significant, double-digit performance improvements over what anyone has seen before.”

Additionally, he disclosed that it will use the Arm instruction said for its custom architecture design: “What we are doing is custom, and we will not be using off the shelf, licensed cores. We are going to use an Arm ISA, but we are doing it as a clean sheet architecture from the ground up that is built for the hyperscaler world.”

Nuvia raised $53 million in a series A funding last year at a $3.5 billion valuation, and was founded by several key people in the industry, including from Apple and Google.

  • bit_user
    ...err, not even a mention of this?
    Depending on how it plays out, Apple could have a huge claim on their core IP.