SAN JOSE, Calif. – Red Hat Inc. said it will support X-Gene, the 64-bit ARM server SOC family from Applied Micro Circuits Corp. Applied is expected to demo the first working ASIC version of the SoC at the ARM Tech Con next week.
The annual ARM conference will host a handful of events related to the company’s server initiative to offer lower power alternatives to x86 servers. They include demos of ARM servers from Boston Ltd. and Taiwan’s Mitac using 32-bit ARM server SoCs from Calxeda and Marvell, respectively.
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“We have a multi-year history in the ARM space, and already have our community-powered Fedora Linux distribution running on Applied Micro hardware in our labs,” said Jon Masters, Chief ARM Architect at Red Hat, speaking in a press statement from Applied.
“Red Hat is collaborating with AppliedMicro to enable support for ARM's 64-bit ARMv8 architecture used in the upcoming X-Gene,” said Masters, who is also speaking at next week’s ARM Tech Con. “We aim to have a remix of Fedora 19 available in time to support the roll out of that platform,” he said in the statement.
Applied announced X-Gene at last year’s ARM Tech Con. Since then it has shown working samples of an FPGA version of the design, and at Hot Chips in August non-working samples of the ASIC.
“Open source is a key piece of the equation that delivers the cost efficiency, power and performance needed to serve evolving data center workloads,” said Vinay Ravuri, general manager for X-Gene at Applied. “We believe this collaboration with ARM and Red Hat will transform the cloud server market."
Applied previously secured support from other Linux distributors including Ubuntu.
Also at ARM Tech Con next week, a Russian software group will describe an x86-to-ARM translation tool aimed at servers, said an ARM server director in a blog posting. Samsung is not expected to announce at the event its widely reported plans for an ARM server SoC, but the ARM executive said he will speak at a separate Samsung event in San Jose, Calif., next week. Related stories:
While it's nice to hear that foremost distros like Redhat are supporting 64bit ARM, it still remains to be seen what real advantages it provides for enterprise market with the X86 legacy stuff snapping at their behinds. They better have some compelling solutions for small and medium businesses which are probably the prospective customers to start with.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.