It’s pretty thin on details but reports out of Qualcomm CEO-to-be Steve Mollenkopf’s speech at CES indicate that the leading mobile chipmaker hasn’t ruled out the microserver market for its industry leading chips. The company said it currently has no specific microserver products to announce but noted that there remained many opportunities in the cloud.
AMD has gone after microservers and made its widely reported acquisition of SeaMicro part of its low power server strategy. Low power ARM server startup Calxeda’s recent undoing raised some concerns that ARM servers couldn’t actually succeed in the data center. But I believe that time will show us that Calxeda was early with 32-bit servers at a time when the market would have liked 64-bit and really just needed another couple years for the market to materialize, for the likes of Google, Amazon and Facebook to have tested, validated and sent the message to the larger cloud market that ARM powered servers could work.
For now, every major player in the value chain, from Google to HP to AMD to Qualcomm is hedging their bets should the lower power server movement become a critical part of cloud computing. So it’s no surprise that Qualcomm is waking up to the fact that its chips might have a place in the data center.