Facebook has made waves by detailing its plans to use what an executive calls chips that have a cell-phone architecture in its future data centers. The social network plans to test such chips now and next year and will likely have them in production in 2014.
Now that AMD has confirmed its purchase of low-power server maker SeaMicro, I bet its next move will be an announcement around licensing the ARM architecture. That’s right: AMD will do a deal with the company that provides the architecture for chips inside your cell phone.
If we’re going to create an Internet of things that connects back to a cloud powered by millions of servers, the chip world will have to change to reduce power consumption, shrink in size and embrace new architectures. Here are three startups that showcase these shifts.
We are moving from the information age to the insight age. So the computer industry is building chip with more cores to keep up with influx of data and the need to process it faster. But more cores means new ways of programming.
The future of data centers is not about performance. It’s about performance per watt. It’s about building a data center that uses less power, lowers operating costs and leaves a smaller carbon footprint.
Facebook engineers have tested a 64-core chip from Tilera and found it ideal for grabbing data quickly from key value stores. This may galvanize the creation of new benchmarks as the debate of which architecture works best for webscale and cloud computing rages.
Intel has purchased an Ethernet silicon company in a move that mimics the industry trend toward viewing the data center as the computer as computing becomes more distributed. Intel said on Tuesday it would buy Fulcrum Microsystems, a venture-backed company that’s 11 years old.
We give Intel a lot of flack here at GigaOM for not being mobile enough or low power enough for scale out computing, but the chipmaker is doing all right in the server category. We discussed how well and the future for servers in this video.
In the debate over the future of server hardware, it comes down to the need for highly efficient hardware using up a fraction of the space and a fraction of the power of legacy hardware solutions, versus the desire for more powerful options from existing manufacturers.
For decades, innovation in the chip industry has largely been governed by the needs of personal computers. But thanks to the proliferation of connected mobile devices, the growth of the consumer web and services available online and on-demand, the PC’s influence on chip design is fading.