It has become clear that ARM (s armh) is invading the data center as chips built using its designs grow more powerful for enterprise computing loads and as the workloads and economics of webscale computing make the ARM architecture more attractive. But using ARM cores also changes the cost of designing a new chip, and frees the non-CPU elements on the chip from being dictated by a specific vendor.
Both of these trends are driving webscale companies to discuss making custom CPU cores for their specific workloads, and are allowing startups to try to break into the world of interconnect fabrics and memory management that used to be locked to a specific x86 core. Right now big web companies like Google and Facebook are designing and building their own gear but soon they may want to have a few chip designers on hand as well.
With ARM custom server chips…
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