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ARM Servers

Forrest Stroud
Last Updated May 24, 2021 7:35 am

An ARM server, or advanced RISC machine server, is a computer server system comprised of a large array of ARM processors as opposed to the x86-class processors traditionally used in servers. ARM servers are touted for being able to provide similar or greater processing power than x86 server counterparts while consuming less energy and producing less heat.

As a result, ARM servers have become more and more popular in recent years and are now frequently deployed in enterprise data centers and cloud deployments. However, despite projections of massive growth for ARM servers, the road to mainstream adoption and gaining market share on Intel and its x86-based servers has not gone smoothly for ARM servers and ARM server processor manufacturers.

The Current State of the ARM Server Market

A number of ARM server chip manufacturers have attempted to push the ARM server industry forward, only to see their efforts come up short. Applied Micro Devices (AMD), Broadcom (with its Vulcan ARM server chips), Qualcomm (with its Amberwing processor designs), Calxeda, Cavium and others have put massive amounts of money into the ARM server market only to later cease operations or find themselves acquired by other companies.

In their place, companies like HP with its Moonshot server systems, AWS with its Graviton ARM server chip, and Huawei Technlogies, with its HiSilicon subsidiary, have been pushing the ARM server market forward.

Their efforts are helping ARM servers gain footholds in hyperscale, cloud and enterprise data center computing environments, but Intel and its x86 servers still outpace ARM server deployments by a huge margin.