Monday, November 5, 2012

Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) is working on ARM-based processors, along with other companies

A prototype of an ARM-based processor was unveiled by Dell Inc.(NASDAQ:DELL) during a conference yesterday, in the Silicon Valley. The company has been working on a 64-bit ARM processor for quite a while now, and the prototype was the result of all the work. The processor, in turn, was from Applied Micro Circuits. This is the fist time that the company has ventured into the area of the 64-bit processor. Previously, the company had been working on the 32-bit ones which had been made by Marvel as well as Calxeda. The 64-bit chips are more conducive to server applications than the smaller, 32-bit ones. Also, ARM chips are the new future processors.

The ARM chips, according to experts, will be better than Intel’s x86 processors, especially for work related to cloud computing, as well as analytics. However, both the hardware support, as well as the software support is in very nascent stages right now, and the experts predict that we have a long way to go, before the ARM-based processors actually become popular and common. According to them, the 64-bit processors which will be ARM-based will not be usable up until 2014 at the least.

The ecosystem for the 64-bit servers is being developed, as it was elucidated during the ARM TechCon, which was presided over, by AppliedMicro, as well as other companies. The CEO of the company, Paramesh Gopi unveiled (quite literally) the prototype server he was talking about. The chassis seemed to be a two-rack-unit one, with 4-5 individual servers, otherwise known as sleds, which can slide into the frame. Whether Dell is actually planning on making and selling the ARM-based servers using the technology provided by AppliedMicro, is still unknown. The spokeswoman from the company said that the company does not plan to make anything available at present. The focus is currently being laid on the ecosystem and is growth, as well as enabling the developers with clusters.

The processor by Dell is called a “Gene X” processor. Gopi is very positive about the fact that the hardware for the ARM-based processors will be out by the first quarter of the next year, and 2013 will soon start seeing rapid change in that direction.

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