You may not have heard of ARM but I’m willing to bet that you’ve used or come across a device with an ARM processor. Currently ARM processors are most prevalent in smart phones and tablets but it appears that they are trying to move into the server market to assist in the creation of servers with low power consumption. Leading the processor market has always been both Intel and AMD in desktops, laptops and servers and with good reason as they boast some of the fastest processors available. With that speed though comes a large amount of energy usage whereas ARM’s processors don’t have the speed that AMD and Intel both have but they do use significantly less power.
Currently ARM has teamed up with Calxeda and has produced the processor that is fit for use in servers. So far Dell has agreed to build a server using the ARM processor. The Dell project is named Copper. The project has the servers designed to handle a series of SoC’s (System on Chip) so that each server would contain a series of mini computers all containing an ARM processor. This setup would allow each server to contain many cores of processing power. For the Copper server the total power used would be 750 watts which would be 15 watts per node.
As it stands there are very few applications that will work on ARM servers. Dell is planning on shipping servers via a seed unit program to customers to support the building of software for ARM architecture. To start off the servers will be designed for handling web applications and other services that don’t require the extra horsepower that AMD and Intel can provide. So let’s wait and see what happens with this project, I know I’m excited for it. If you’re looking to purchase a new server for your business, then give us a call and allow us to assist you.