The Power architecture is likely to have higher performance but also
higher power consumption than ARM-based SoCs. Currently, at least five
companies are designing ARM-based server SoCs, including Applied Micro,
which has a background with the Power architecture in communications
chips. The company nevertheless opted for a 64-bit custom ARM core for
its upcoming XGene server chips.
Other ARM server SoC makers
include startup Calxeda, which has a 32-bit chip now shipping in systems
and a 64-bit chip planned for 2014. Dell is using Marvell’s 32-bit
Armada XP chip in servers. Cavium has announced plans for 64-bit ARM
server SoCs and Samsung reportedly also has a project in the works.
recently announced a family of low power servers designed to use a
variety of CPU architectures. It picked Intel’s dual-core Atom server
chip, Centerton, for the first member of the family.
press release contained general comments praising the startup from
leaders of the Power.org group and the Linux Foundation. The news comes
one week before the opening of the annual ARM Tech Con at which Applied is expected to give the first demo of an ASIC version of its 64-bit XGene.
Depending on what one wants to do with such a server, getting software stacks to run on it is important. For example, Oracle doesn't compile Java for PowerPC/Linux (no surprise there), one has to get the IBM J9 version. As long as one is using mostly Open Source software, it should be possible to build a version for PowerPC, but commercial software may be harder to find for PowerPC/Linux.
When people release new product lines based on PowerPC these days, it's news.
Personally, I'm glad to see PowerPC still going strong. IMO it's a much better instruction set than x86 or ARM. Now we just need a development board with Raspberry Pi pricing.
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.