Applied Micro lifted the curtain on its 64-bit ARM-based server platform at the Hot Chips conference this week and ignited a debate about whether ARM is the right architecture for the data center. Pat Gelsinger, a former Intel CTO who is now president and COO of EMC, said he doesn't think ARM chips are right for servers. "I don't think the math makes sense," he said.
Applied disagrees, contending that for certain workloads, including big data and Web-scale cloud-computing applications, its server chips will lead to dramatically lower ownership costs, largely through reduced power consumption.
Applied said it's on track to ship samples of its system-on-chip, called X-Gene, in the second half of the year. It will eventually be offered in servers with 128, 256 and 512 processor cores, President and CEO Paramesh Gopi said in a presentation Wednesday.
Several vendors are working on server products based on 32-bit ARM designs, but Applied may be the first to release a server product based on the new ARMv8, whose 64-bit architecture is more suited to server workloads.