Supply chain
Arm pushing into HPC and datacenter markets, says Digitimes Research
Frank Kung, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei

With its advantages in edge computing and mobile device applications, Arm has been expanding its server solution offerings, heading towards high performance computing instead of staying on the traditional route of further lowering power consumption, according to Digitimes Research's observation.

Adoption by cloud computing datacenter operators such as Amazon and Microsoft as well as chip designers including Marvell and Ampere is expected to help Arm expand its presence in the large-size cloud datacenter and HPC markets, enabling it to obtain a 10% market share in the server CPU market.

Arm-based servers are attractive particularly to large-size cloud computing datacenter operators with Amazon being the keenest in procuring the products, since Arm-based architecture, comparing to x86 one, feature lower cost and lower power consumption.

Large-size cloud computing operators have been expanding their datacenter infrastructure in a bid to satisfy increasing demand for cloud computing services, AI and HPC applications and therefore have rigid demand for lowering hardware expenses and power consumption. Arm-based CPUs will allow the operators to provide services with high price/performance ratios and more flexible combinations.

However, to survive in the server market, Arm still faces many difficulties: it lacks support from the software ecosystem; related server motherboard and rack system design are not yet mature; and there is fierce competition from other open-source camps such as RSIC-V.

Digitimes Research expects Arm to focus on expanding in the cloud computing datacenter and HPC server markets. If Nvidia is able to complete the acquisition of Arm, the GPU giant will then be able to offer server solutions that combine Arm CPU and Nvidia GPU that will expand Arm's reach in the AI cloud computing market.

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