As expected, ARM officially announced its new Cortex-A chip design and in addition to specs that portend a new generation of powerhouse smartphones, it looks like ARM is finally laying the groundwork for some serious competition in the server processor space.
ARM’s latest design is an upgrade in every regard, from clockspeed (up to 2.5 GHz from speeds that currently hover around 1 GHz) to core counts and L2 cache. But, as I wrote last week, the company’s bet on virtualization support is what’s likely to lend the low-power chip designer some much-needed momentum in the server market.
Ralf at TechETA spells out why:
As far as feature sets are concerned they’re keeping a little quiet on what’s under the hood…aside from the fact that the design can contain anywhere from 1 to 4 physical cores with up to 4MB of L2 cache which should make multi-tasking smoother on the next generation of gadgets. Hardware-based OS virtualization support makes an appearance as does Large Physical Address Extensions which allows the design to handle up to 1TB of memory.
Given that the company makes their chips for more than just the smartphone market its AMBA 4 interconnect technology might be of interest to anyone into making some exotic designs as it allows for multiple Cortex-A15 MPCore processors to work together in a SMP mode for that low-power server rack of the future.
Can’t wait to see what server startup Smooth-Stone can do with these puppies under the hood.