Early prototype 64-bit ARM servers could be available for testing purposes by the end of this year or possibly at the latest by the middle of next year, ARM said on Monday. ARM will try to make inexpensive 64-bit server hardware available by working with partner Applied Micro Circuits, which has licensed the chip designer's 64-bit ARMv8 architecture, said Ian Ferguson, director of server systems and ecosystem at ARM.
Interest in ARM servers is growing as companies look for a power-efficient way to process large volumes of online transactions. Low-power ARM processors are found in smartphones and tablets, but some believe thousands of ARM servers could efficiently process fast-moving transactions such as search or social network requests.
HP and Dell are among the high-profile server markets offering prototype ARM servers for testing and benchmarking. Despite the promise, Dell has said that ARM servers are not yet ready for implementation in data centers due to software issues and the lack of 64-bit addressing. The server market is ruled by Intel and Advanced Micro Devices, which make processors based on the x86 architecture.