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Data Centers Tap ARM, 100GE

2/9/2016 10:00 AM EST
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perl_geek
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Power consumption is key
perl_geek   2/11/2016 1:20:48 PM
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I was at a meeting the other night where a service provider described replacing 2 X86 servers with Raspberry Pi units. The X86's 200-watt 24/7 power bills are roughly $200/year. The $50 Pi consumes about 1 watt. CAPEX paid back in six months. (Numbers not necessarily spot-on, but close enough for government work.)

It's true that there's a major difference in the computing power available, but CPU grunt isn't really key in most server applications.

(See the article about LinkkedIn, too.)

 

moronda
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Re: More to come
moronda   2/11/2016 12:18:48 PM
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Are you an AMCC employee or board member?


They are morons. They have a fiduciary responsibility to spend company money wisely.


All they have done is flush millions of dollars down the toilet.


This ridiculous initiative started years ago. He joined in 2009. That is 7 years ago.
 

It's been a massive failure.

nick_rb
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Re: Competitive Environment
nick_rb   2/11/2016 4:50:02 AM
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@ Bruzzer

As with all your participations on EETimes (and recently on Electronics Weekly), I recognise the words you use as English, but your use of syntax and argumentation make it difficult (at least for me!) to understand what you are attempting to express. My not being a native speaker might of course be the cause. Would you be able to reformulate your comment in a different way, so that I can benefit from your inputs? I would also welcome the help of any other kind souls on that forum, if one would like to participate...

Thanks in advance!

GSMD
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ARM server CPUs
GSMD   2/11/2016 2:25:22 AM
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The key problem is the lack of a credible ARM server processor. If a good 16 core 64 bit part with   single thread performance of about 1.5 IPC and sufficienttly high  IO/DDR bandwdth exists, you will see ARM get a 30 plus market share. X86 legacy compatibility or sw compatibility is a non issue in the Linux world.

Markets like India are slowly becoming Linux only, in fact in Govt. purchases Linux is mandatory. You have to prove that open source does not cut it to justify buying Windows or Oracle. Or you could potentially get hauled up on corruption charges ! These days OS means linux, java server means jboss or tomcat and rdbms means postgres. This with an esb is the core of most enterprise systems , maybe with apache spark/hadoop thrown in. Whether it runs on an x86 or a monkey with an abacus does not matter.  As an example, all large Indian core banking db servers are IBM power. The reason being oracle licensing costs are lower compared to x86. So the sole determinant is cost.

In fact if IBM power costs were on par with x86, you would have seen IBM get a 30 % share. RH now supports ARM pretty well and barring the odd pacakge, most standard enterprise SW has supported ARM builds. Bottom line, in the low and mid level dual and quad socket Linux market, the only thing that matters is cost, as long as it is a Tier1 supplying the box. In fact for security sensitive servers, ARM trustzone is way better than the new Intel extension. The market is for ARM to lose. x86 compatibility or legacy issues are purely an American or European phenomenon. Japan too I guess.

DMcCunney
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Re: What a laugh
DMcCunney   2/10/2016 11:49:04 AM
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@moronda: I don't think ARM servers are going anywhere. It's all hype and no reality.

Well, Intel certainly hopes so.  But ARM is getting serious investigation in the server space.  The biggest driver is probably power efficiency.  ARM CPUs use less power than Intel, and as data centers proliferate and continually add servers to meet demand, power costs are a major factor.  And the more power you consume, the more heat you generate as a by product, and the greater your cooling requirements become. The additional cooling equipment and the power needed to run it only drives costs up higher.

Intel's attempts in the low power space have not matched ARM.  And while X86 servers may be more powerful on an individual basis, ARM based machines may be powerful enough to meet most needs.  The main roadblock I saw to ARM adoption was lack of a clear 64bit upgrade path, but we are beginning to see that picture clarify.

If I'm someone at Google or Facebook looking and building Yet Another Datacenter, with thousands of servers in racks, I'm watching ARM with high interest.  I meet demand by throwing more servers at it, but the servers I throw don't have to be the fastest and most powerful to perform their function, and factors like power requirements and cooling become far more important in the purchase decision.

>Dennis

Wilco1
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Re: More to come
Wilco1   2/10/2016 2:54:20 AM
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Samsung achieved 14nm production at the same time as Intel and has higher volume. Intel delayed 10nm to 2nd half of 2017 while Samsung/GF and TSMC accelerate 10nm rollout.

AMCC has been shipping ARM servers for some time now. The experience from this will help next generation XGene-3 compete with designs from Broadcom, QC and others. Being early is risky but can also lead to great success. Time will tell.

>I'm not an Intel employee or fan. I am just a realist about trying to compete with chipzilla.

Calling AMCC CEO/directors morons is not being a realist.

moronda
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Re: More to come
moronda   2/10/2016 1:05:41 AM
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If anyone could gain some traction it would be Broadcom or Qualcomm. They have the resources to try and gain some traction. I still don't think there is much hope to take a large bite out of Intel any time soon. They are not standing still. They will have 10 nm processors coming soon. Intel has their own dedicated fabs and therefore is able to beat the fabless model.


Broadcom and Qualcomm will come out with theirs. Then the idea may gain more traction. They will have the software engineer resources to make it half way usable.


AMCC has been at this for years with no pay off.


I'm not an Intel employee or fan. I am just a realist about trying to compete with chipzilla.

 

 

rick merritt
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More to come
rick merritt   2/9/2016 5:28:45 PM
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I see Applied's move as a bold one, albeit risky and yes the CEO there is like a man with his hair on fire. But Paramesh Gopi is not carrying all the water here.

Qualcomm or Broadcom are reasonable data center suppliers with good architectures that have a shot at success, AMD is already in the data center and Cavium has a good architecture.

Wilco1
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Re: What a laugh
Wilco1   2/9/2016 5:12:06 PM
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So who paid you? Do you own Intel stock by any chance?

If you're so concerned about a few 10's of millions of investment into a fast growing market with a good chance of success, what about companies which invested 10's of billions into fantasies without getting anything in return? There are plenty of recent examples one can think of, including several by Intel...

dbostan
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Re: What a laugh
dbostan   2/9/2016 2:46:35 PM
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I must agree.

That guy is probably the worst in the long line of disatrous AMCC/APM CEOs.

But the Board of Directors is equally, or more so, guilty.

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