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SoftBank’s Son: Quixotic or Prophetic?

Unlike most investors, Son 'gets' hardware
7/20/2016 07:07 PM EDT
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sixscrews
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Is the end of ARM as we know it?
sixscrews   8/11/2016 11:22:51 PM
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My biggest worry is that I'm not sure Softbank knows how ARM works.  They have continued to lead in CPU development, constantly out-thinking the likes of Intel and others.  I love designing systems around ARM cores - they are logically organized and don't carry all the compatibility baggage of the Intel x86 line.

Will this continue under a new management or will the key designers who make ARM tick look for another place to do their thing, leaving ARM with its current IP but no path to the future?

ss/wb

realjjj
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Re: Masayoshi Son 'Gets' Hardware
realjjj   8/1/2016 6:49:09 AM
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ARM is far beyond aiming for low perf in server.

Fujitsu announced recently their Post-k supercomputer https://www.top500.org/news/fujitsu-switches-horses-for-post-k-supercomputer-will-ride-arm-into-exascale/

TSMC's 7nm has a HPC version, we can guess what's that for.

A73 is very fast but it should be at or bellow 0.65mm2 on 10nm so it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect something much bigger soon.

At Hot Chips in a few weeks, ARM has this presentation: ARMv8-A Next Generation Vector Architecture for HPC

TSMC's 7nm is for 2018, if you factor in that qualification in server takes a while, the real push is 2019 and beyond.

Ofc the TAM in server for ARM would be some 20+ billion this year and even with 100% share they would get just a small fraction of that given their business model. Server is a big market but just one of many.

Raw power for Intel is a bit relative too as clocks might go up to 4GHz in 4 core configs but with 22-24 cores (their max current offering) clocks stop at 2.2GHz. ARM was going after server anyway and after the entire market, from top to bottom. Softbank could help them invest a bit more in not CPU related areas for server.

DMcCunney
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Re: Masayoshi Son 'Gets' Hardware
DMcCunney   8/1/2016 4:16:30 AM
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@Ravishanker_#1: So, could it be that Jack Ma might be talking more about ARM based data servers ? 

I don't doubt he's at least thinking about it.   The missing piece to that puzzle was 64bit ARM CPUs, but those designs are available.

ARM based servers lack the raw power of Intel architecture systems, but for the sort of applications servers are applied to these days, raw power isn't a requirement.  They don't have to be super fast.  They just need to be fast enough.

Facebook and Google are continually building new data centers stuffed with rack mount servers, and increasing capacity and perceived speed for the users who hit those servers is a matter of adding more servers, not faster ones.

Where ARM shines is power efficiency, and despite lots of effort, Intel has yet to match it.  ARM servers will use less power, and more important, generate less heat and require less cooling.  A/C takes power.  If I'm building out server farms, the power budget will be a critical piece, and I'll smile at things that will reduce it.

If I'm Facebook or Google, assume I'm looking at ARM based servers very closely going forward.

>Dennis

ip2design
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Re: Classification
ip2design   7/25/2016 10:59:58 AM
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ARM is not just a microprocessor architecture, it is a whole eco-system. 

TonyTib
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Re: Masayoshi Son 'Gets' Hardware
TonyTib   7/22/2016 1:42:14 PM
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Only time will tell, but my guess is that both Alibaba and Soft Bank are more interested in IoT than servers.

Ravishankar_#1
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Re: Masayoshi Son 'Gets' Hardware
Ravishankar_#1   7/22/2016 3:47:44 AM
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All the SOC companies in China already use ARM. So, could it be that Jack Ma might be talking more about ARM based data servers ?  

Kevin Neilson
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Re: Classification
Kevin Neilson   7/21/2016 10:32:13 PM
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"burn sand":  that's a good one.  

Kevin Neilson
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Re: Classification
Kevin Neilson   7/21/2016 10:22:36 PM
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Microprocessor companies come and go.  Soft fabless processor companies can disappear even faster.

realjjj
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Re: Masayoshi Son 'Gets' Hardware
realjjj   7/21/2016 9:58:52 PM
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Jen-Hsun Huang, Nvidia's CEO, likes to say that ARM has democratized the CPU.

Maybe ARM is the future of Softbank and they want to architect the world while democratizing a few more things. Not a bad way to go about it.

For IoT Softbank should also focus on product design. Helping others , from any industry, to improve their products through technology. Almost anything can be made better but few have the expertise or the resources to acquire that expertise. Creating a single great product is hard , creating 10000 is so much harder and that might be IoT's greatest problem.

 

junko.yoshida
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Re: Classification
junko.yoshida   7/21/2016 5:18:16 PM
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Of course, ARM is an IP company. ARM writes code. But the very code is the vesry fabric of SoCs and systems built on that chip.  

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