Arm has announced a set of milestones that set the stage for a further push into the server CPU market.
The company this week revealed that Microsoft Azure servers and virtual machines powered by Arm-based Ampere processors now adhere to SystemReady standards.
Effectively, this means software also designed to the same specification is guaranteed to function as intended in Arm-based Azure cloud environments, an important consideration for development teams.
Arm takes on the server market
Traditionally, Arm-based processors have been found predominantly in smartphones and IoT endpoints, because of the strong power consumption to performance ratio they deliver. Meanwhile, the server and workstation market has been dominated by Intel’s x86 architecture.
However, Arm has recently begun to muscle its way into the datacenter with its Neoverse platform, which now underpins a host of performance-centric chips.
Cloud vendors like AWS and Alibaba have also discovered the performance advantages of developing their own custom ARM-based silicon, instead of leaning solely on Intel Xeon and AMD EPYC CPUs, based on x86. There is evidence to suggest companies like Microsoft and Meta will soon follow suit.
The latest data from Omdia shows Arm-based CPUs are currently found in roughly 5% of servers, but the company expects to make significant headway in the coming years as heavy investment begins to bear fruit.
Speaking to TechRadar Pro at MWC 2022 earlier this year, the company’s SVP Infrastructure Chris Bergey explained why the company is so well-positioned to accelerate into the server space.
“With Arm, cloud providers are finding they can get more compute, because they can put more cores in a power envelope. And we’re just at the tip of the iceberg,” he told us.
“This is a ‘show me’ kind of market. If you’ve got the performance and value proposition, companies are highly incentivized to consider alternatives - and the market share will take care of itself.”
One of the few remaining stumbling blocks for Arm is software support, a problem that SystemReady standards are designed to resolve.
With Microsoft becoming the first major cloud vendor to embrace the new set of certifications, first introduced back in 2020, Arm will hope the rest will now fall in line.
Via The Register