By Paul Sandle and Noel Randewich
LONDON/SAN FRANCISCO Oct 30 British chip
designer ARM on Tuesday launched processors to power a
new generation of smartphones and also offer low-energy
solutions for servers, increasing its incursion into a market
dominated by Intel.
The Cambridge-based company, whose technology is in Apple's
iPhone 5 and Samsung Electronics' Galaxy
S3, said its latest blueprints would deliver three times today's
processing power using the same amount of energy.
The new chips use 64-bit architecture, an upgrade from
current 32-bit designs that will give them increased processing
clout suitable for servers while retaining their energy
efficiency, the company said.
Chips made using technology licensed from ARM are used
across the smartphone and tablet industry. The company is now
promoting an emerging trend toward building data centers with
many small, low-energy chips instead of a few high-performance
The microserver industry is in its infancy, with
Hewlett-Packard, Dell and other vendors showing
PC chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices said on Monday
it would use ARM's technology to make microserver chips
available starting in 2014.
ARM Chief Executive Warren East told reporters at an event
in San Francisco that ARM-based servers may account for a fifth
of data centers by 2020.
He said interest in microservers is spreading beyond
cutting-edge Internet companies like Facebook and Google
to traditionally conservative customers, like banks'
chief information officers.
"Getting to the CIOs of banks is quite a step but we're
already seeing these types of people totally plugged into the
notion of ARM-based servers, and looking at not so much whether,
but how and when," East said.
Introducing 64-bit technology that lets processors interact
more efficiently with memory chips, a feature already offered by
Intel, is a key step toward making ARM chips more attractive for
East said Austin, Texas-startup Calxeda has demonstrated
that ARM technology can reduce power consumption by over three
quarters in servers.
Unlike in the PC industry, which Intel dominated for
decades, manufacturers in the smartphone industry can buy their
processors from any number of chip designers.
East said data-center equipment manufacturers will also
benefit from more options as ARM-based chip designers launch
competing chips into the server market, long an Intel
Licensees of ARM's new 64-bit Cortex A-50 series include
AMD, Broadcom, Calxeda, HiSilicon, Samsung and
STMicroelectronics, the company said, and the first
chips are expected to ship in 2014.