If the rumors are to be believed, a major web company is getting ready to deploy servers based on ARM’s low-power chips. According to Charlie Demerjian’s post at Semi Accurate, Facebook will be the first to make that jump. (With Smooth-Stone, perhaps?)
Though mainly a designer of chips for smartphones and mobiles — essentially a fab-less processor company — ARM has been signaling that servers are part of its plan to expand its business. At stake is gaining a foothold on an IT marketplace that’s increasingly placing an emphasis on energy efficiency and cost savings. The company made one of the biggest moves in that direction by recently financially backing Smooth-Stone.
Even if Facebook is the first to roll-out ARM-based servers en masse, chances are it won’t lay claim to that distinction for long. There’s a good chance that Microsoft will follow suit soon after and Google has proven over the years that it isn’t shy about pulling the trigger on non-standard server builds.