Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

ARM has a new weapon in race to build world's fastest computers

Agam Shah | Aug. 23, 2016
ARM's new supercomputer chip design with vector extensions will be in Japan's Post-K computer, which will be deployed in 2020

ARM's chip design will also be part of an influx of alternative chip architectures outside x86 and IBM's Power entering supercomputing. The world's fastest supercomputer called the Sunway TaihuLight has a homegrown ShenWei processor developed by China. It offers peak performance of 125.4 petaflops.

ARM has struggled in servers for half a decade now, and the new chip design could give it a better chance of competing against Intel, which dominates data centers. Large server clusters are being built for machine learning, which could use the low-precision calculations provided by a large congregation of ARM chips with vector extensions.

ARM servers are already available, but aren't being widely adopted. Dell and Lenovo are testing ARM servers, and said they would ship products when demand grows, which hasn't happened yet.

ARM server chip makers are also struggling and hanging on with the hope the market will take off someday. AMD, which once placed its server future on ARM chips, has reverted back to x86 chips as it re-enters servers. Qualcomm is testing its ARM server chip with cloud developers, and won't release a chip until the market is viable. AppliedMicro scored a big win with Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which is using the ARM server chips in storage systems. Other ARM server chip makers include Broadcom and Cavium.

 

Previous Page  1  2 

Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.