What astounded me during this whole selection process was how much storage density has increased and how casually sales reps talk about 1TB drives. ARM has actually been a big part of helping OEMS drive up the density curve with our Cortex-R series processors.
The Cortex-R profile story in storage is a great example of the value proposition that ARM brings to OEMS in various markets. Circa 2001 there were about four different proprietary architectures in this market. OEMS were challenged on multiple fronts because of this situation. They had to maintain different code bases and design environments for these different architectures. OEMs had limited flexibility for a multi-sourcing strategy and considerable time to market challenges.
OEMS were looking for a well supported architecture partner that could meet their performance needs and invest in a long term performance partnership. They wanted robust tools, development and debug options and most importantly they wanted software portability that could allow them to migrate from vendor to vendor easily and consolidate their R&D spend on platforms. They adopted the Cortex-R4 processor widely because it helped them solve these challenges. In addition the Cortex-R4 processor introduced key features for these markets including integrated ECC support, enhanced interrupt performance and trace and debug capability. ARM and its Partners presented a solution for these OEMS. Fast forward 10 years later and ARM is now the most adopted architecture in storage.
Earlier I mentioned how consumers such as myself are putting pressure on HDD/SSD vendors to increase their density while reducing power consumption and cost. The increases in drive density requirements drive increases in Tracks Per Inch on the drive which in turn drive up the processing requirements. The introduction of Cortex-R5 and Cortex-R7 processors with features like SMP, IO coherency and low latency IO, delivers an upward migration path for Storage OEMs allowing them to address their performance challenges. I am glad because I for one intend to continue with my thirst for content…
Lakshmi Mandyam, Director of Server Systems & Ecosystem, ARM, is thrilled to be working on products and technologies that she can excitedly point to when she is out and about with her family. At ARM she is delighted to be able to change people’s perceptions about being able to deliver high performance enterprise solutions in a energy efficient mobile power profile.
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