- Calxeda announced they had raised a further $55M. Part of this money will be used to drive their product roadmap forward from the current ARM CortexTM-A9 based offering. The roadmap “reveal” news was widely covered, including this piece in The Register.
- Boston Ltd, a UK distributor for SuperMicro, posted some power numbers, based on their testing of Viridis, their Calxeda-based platform. You will read about more power and performance benchmarks in the months to come
- A Russian company, Elbrus Technologies, announced a translation tool that, they claim, will be able to run legacy Linux-based x86 binaries unmodified on ARM based platforms. I see this as of less interest for the tier 1 cloud infrastructure companies. For those companies where the server IS is the main business, these companies have access to the source code of the application software and can recompile it for the ARM architecture. However, this technology offers the opportunity to open up some areas of the Enterprise server market, provided the performance of the tool can reach an acceptable level. They will be presenting a technical paper at ARM TechCon on Thursday at 3:30pm.
- The EuroCloud server project was invited to the European Parliament between October 8th and 10th. Eurocloud is a multi-partner collaborative project that includes ARM, Cancer Research UK, Nokia, University of Cyprus and EPFL. It is investigating new server topologies that include ARM-based processor cores and mobile DRAM. The compute and DRAM substrates are integrated using 3D-stacking technology to create a 3D server-on-chip. With the 3D server-on-chip, the project aims at a tenfold improvement in server chip energy-efficiency
- Penguin Computing announced the UDX1 platform based on the existing EnergyCoreTM devices from Calxeda. This platform will be demonstrating a Hadoop application at the Strata Conference + Hadoopworld in New York on October 24th and 25th.
And for each of the things I mention, there are probably five that I cannot detail as we support our silicon and platform partners in the “trench warfare“ of customer engagements. Interesting to see how hard some of our competition is fighting, considering how dismissive they have been of our chances.
As I mentioned previously, the ARM TechCon is looming. Here are a few of the items that I think are worth hunting down for those with server interest:
- There will be both a Calxeda-powered (Boston) and Marvell-powered (Mitac) server platform on the ARM booth.
- Jon Masters from RedHat will be giving a talk on ARM server Linux. This should be interesting for two reasons. Firstly, he will be flying just a few hours before from the diverse set of Linux events in Copenhagen earlier in the week. Secondly, the last time he gave a speech in public he wore cycling shorts. I wonder what visual he has for us this time.
- There will be a panel on Windows RT and ARM servers led by one of my colleagues, Jeff Chu on Thursday at 1pm.
- Applied Micro is hosting an event on Thursday at 11am to discuss the progress that has been made in the past year on developing the software ecosystem for 64-bit ARM server devices.
- Not connected with ARM TechCon, Samsung are holding a CIO Forum the same week. They are one of our premier partners so we have forgiven them for the event timing(!). I will be speaking at that event on Thursday afternoon at the Fairmont Hotel.
- A company called Samplify Systems will be showing an interesting IP block that provides compression/decompression viable for a broader range of data types than a technology like gzip. The fundamental argument is that processor technology is scaling faster than memory bandwidth/latency iIs improving.
I will issue a further blog after the event, to summarize all of the different announcements.
Ian Ferguson, Director of Server Systems and Ecosystem, ARM, has spent years fighting from the corner of the underdog. Most of those scars are healing nicely. Ian is particularly passionate about taking ARM technology into new types of applications that do not exist or are at the very formative stages. Consequently, he is driving ARM’s server program with a view to reinvent the way the server function is implemented in networks as opposed to simply replacing incumbent platforms.
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