AppliedMicro Joins Dell's ARM SoC Testing PortfolioAppliedMicro is the first company to show off a 64-bit ARM processor.
At ARM TechCon in Santa Clara, AppliedMicro surprised visitors with a prototype X-Gene SoC, reportedly based on ARMv8 architecture and built onto sleds for a Dell server.
There were no details about the exact model, feature set, and specs available, but AppliedMicro claimed that it was a fully functional prototype chip. Dell previously confirmed that it is providing servers with Calxeda and Marvell 32-bit ARM processors to select customers for testing purposes and the hope that these servers will spark the beginnings of an ARM server software ecosystem. In an article published by PC World, Dell did not reveal which role it had in developing the server, but noted that it has no intentions to commercially offer this or any other ARM server "right now."
AppliedMicro, however, said that it is "literally months away" from having prototype ARMv8 (64-bit) servers available, as well as software to go along with it. The company showed three server reference designs, including X-Memory, X-Compute and X-Storage, hinting at the target applications of memory-intensive, floating point-intensive, as well as storage-focused server systems. The prototype system on display apparently was an X-Storage system with 36 TB of storage capacity.
At this time, ARMv8-based servers are not expected to be available for purchase prior to 2014.
Wolfgang GruenerWolfgang Gruener is a contributor to Tom's IT Pro. He is currently principal analyst at Ndicio Research, a market analysis firm that focuses on cloud computing and disruptive technologies, and maintains the conceivablytech.com blog. An 18-year veteran in IT journalism and market research, he previously published TG Daily and was managing editor of Tom's Hardware news, which he grew from a link collection in the early 2000s into one of the most comprehensive and trusted technology news sources.
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