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Intel, AMD Debate Best Chip For Cloud

Is the aging x86 instruction set the right one for the future? At the GigaOm Structure 2013 show Wednesday, proponents of different chip architectures staged the latest version of this ongoing debate. Structure is an eight-year old show meant to showcase the latest technologies and trends.

AMD general manager Andrew Feldman said AMD has bet on ARM becoming the chip architecture of the future in cloud data centers, as well as client devices where it already predominates. “In 60 years of the computer industry, smaller, lower-cost components have always won out over more expensive ones. In the future we believe it’s going to be the ARM processor,” he said. Furthermore, ARM will occupy smaller, simpler “single-socket servers” that will be used to build out cloud data centers and ready to deliver services to a compatible ARM processor on millions of mobile devices.

The x86 instruction set was designed for personal computers and has grown into the role of power servers. But “the mentality that one size fits all” is colliding with new conditions, warned Feldman. “The cloud does the compute work for the client,” and therefore ARM-based servers are being built through the HP Moonshot project or SeaMicro SM 1500 servers.

Two thirds of the people in the world still lack access to the Internet. They’ll get it, not through desktops and laptops, but through phones powered by ARM chips. In 2012, eight billion ARM CPUs were manufactured and sold, or 20 times the volume of x86 chips, he said.

Network Computing

Categories: General.

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