Is the aging x86 instruction set the right one for the future? At the GigaOm Structure 2013show Wednesday, proponents of different chip architectures staged the latest version of this ongoing debate. Structure is an eight-year old show meant to showcase the latest technologies and trends.
AMD general manager Andrew Feldman said AMD has bet on ARM becoming the chip architecture of the future in cloud data centers, as well as client devices where it already predominates. "In 60 years of the computer industry, smaller, lower-cost components have always won out over more expensive ones. In the future we believe it's going to be the ARM processor," he said. Furthermore, ARM will occupy smaller, simpler "single-socket servers" that will be used to build out cloud data centers and ready to deliver services to a compatible ARM processor on millions of mobile devices.
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.