If you want more proof that ARM has data center ambitions, look no further than this article in eWeek.
During the Hot Chips conference at Stanford this week, ARM’s architecture program manager, Dave Brash, said that the Cortex A, code-named Eagle, will feature virtualization support. Already, according to Brash, companies including VMware are working hypervisors for the processor, which the company hopes will make a splash in the low-end server space. If it takes off, it could give data center operators achieve new levels of energy efficiency from their server consolidation efforts.
Timing is everything, as they say. ARM’s low-power processors are already a staple among smartphones and mobile devices, where battery life trumps just about all other considerations. Add runaway data center growth and the emergence of cloud computing, and it’s easy to see why interest in the company’s chip designs is rising among companies that are looking to keep their energy costs in check.
For instance, Facebook is rumored to be pondering a switch to an ARM-based server architecture. Microsoft is devoting some personnel to evaluating ARM’s architecture as it beefs up its data center presence in support of its cloud computing strategy (Azure). Finally, ARM has been fanning the flames somewhat by becoming one of Smooth-Stone’s most prominent backers. Smooth-Stone hopes IT shops will flock to its ARM-based, multi-processor servers that match computing workloads with just the right amount of processor power, which drives energy efficiency by eliminating a lot of the overhead incurred by traditional server designs.
When will ARM’s Eagle land? According to Brash, the company is “very, very close” to delivering the design to its partners. Read the rest of Jeffrey Burt’s eWeek article here.