For his part, ARM CEO Warren East doesn't underestimate the
challenge. He also isn't daunted by it. In an interview this week,
"The real answer is [maintaining focus during
expansion is] hard. That's why as shareholders you pay us money.
Focus and operating in multiple places is an oxymoron. [But]
when you look at ARM technology ... you do develop the mobile
stuff and it is actually quite applicable."
He pointed to the big product announcements of the week the
ARM A57 and A53.
"We put a bit of a server slant on these things to
promote the fact that we are getting closer to ARM in servers.
But the reality is for the first few years there will be more
57s and 53s in mobile."
East said "a big chunk" of development is the same, while "clearly
there's a little bit of creating the right [embedded] ecosystem
that's slightly different than the ecosystem from servers. You have
to do an ecosystem that's a little different. I don't think it's that
much of a challenge."
Time will tell, of course, whether ARM's relentless growth and
success will translate into these new markets and whether those of
you who are designing embedded systems or servers will
embrace ARM. Or whether the words from the old
Grateful Dead tune will echo from Cambridge:
"Midnight on a carousel ride, Reaching for the gold ring, down inside. Never could reach it, just slipped away but I tried."
Businesses, like sharks, have to keep moving forward.
I remember reading ARM's revamped "vision statement" about six years ago.
It read something like this: "ARM intends to be the preferred digital architecture in everything."
At that time ARM was big in mobile and trying in other sectors and vision statements were all the rage.
I did a double take at the time but i have got used to the idea of "first mobile, then the universe."
I'm no microcontroller guru, but my sense is ARM is pretty far along in surrounding that market in which a few remaining proprietary architectures have circled their wagons.
As for servers, ARM still has some heavy lifting to do in ecosystem software and the key 64-bit chips won't even arrive until 2014, so we are just in the preface of this book.
I agree Rick...I think it is going to be long and uphill road for ARM to conquer server space...despite Peter's response I am still not convinced why they don't just focus on mobile which is a huge market on its own to propel them into the top 10 semi vendors shortly...kris
Servers is a gamble for ARM. They have very little invested in it. They are counting on their partners - Calxeda, AppliedMicro, AMD and others to invest millions and take the risk. All they have to do is to define the architecture, work on enabling the ecosystem and stand back and watch the battle.
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.