Fedora ARM head claims 64-bit ARM chips will be tipping point

2012-Jun-11 | Tags: armfedoraserver

Start64!THE RED HAT sponsored Fedora Linux distribution believes a 64-bit ARM architecture will prove to be the tipping point for ARM servers. -  The Fedora Project, which is heavily sponsored by enterprise Linux vendor Red Hat, has seemingly been lagging behind Canonical's Ubuntu Linux distribution following a round of server announcements from Dell and HP professing certification for Ubuntu. However Jon Masters, principal software engineer at Red Hat and leader of Fedora's ARM effort told The INQUIRER that 64-bit ARM chips will prove to be the killer feature for ARM-based servers.

Currently ARM chips use 32-bit addressing, though the firm introduced 40-bit addressing last year with the Cortex A15, but even being able to address 1TB of RAM won't be enough to sell ARM servers, according to Masters. He told The INQUIRER that certain workloads require processors to access vast amounts of RAM, and 64-bit support will drive mainstream support for ARM chips in servers.

Masters said, "We look forward very much to having a 64-bit ARM Fedora offering in the not to distant future. [...] Clearly the way the technology is heading we have an interim stage there, the [ARM Cortex] A15, has 40-bit physical addressing but its still 32-bit, but it can actually handle a terabyte of RAM. That's going to make an interesting offering in the next year or two and I think further out, but not too far out, the 64-bit stuff is I think when you'll start to see mainstream ARM servers and Fedora will support those when we get there."