Web giants like Google and Facebook do a lot of software engineering in order to allow them to use relatively simple, low-cost storage systems, Eastwood said. "This would seem to give them the ability to go faster without having to do all that extra engineering on the software side."
AMD timed its announcement to come at the start of the Intel developer Forum in San Francisco. Earlier Monday, Intel announced that it plans to integrate its own fabric interconnect technology into future Intel processors, though it didn't give details.
Other vendors, including Applied Micro Circuits, are also building server components that integrate network components traditionally found on separate chips, with a view to reducing power consumption and improving bandwidth.
"It's my guess that over the next months and years you're going to hear a great deal about fabrics," Feldman said.
SeaMicro has said its network fabric can work with any processor type, and ARM processors may be an option in the future. But ARM's current, 32-bit Cortex A9 architecture is not suited to SeaMicro servers, according to Feldman. The Cortex A15, due in 2013 or 2014, may be more interesting, he said. "It's not clear yet."
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