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Intel Corporation Message Board

  • intel_fanboy intel_fanboy Dec 21, 2013 4:13 PM Flag

    Funding ARM servers

    The success of ARM has it's roots in the recording industry. The Apple Newton Released in 1998 was a flop with ARM processors. The first real ARM success for Apple was the iPod released in 2001. The thing that turned on Steve Jobs the most was the fact that Apple got 1/3rd of the sales. The music was cheap enough for people to not steal it and the iTunes store was revolutionary. It changed the recording industry.

    The problem was that by the mid 2000's cellphones were capable of doing more than making calls.The first phone that worked with iTunes wasn't from Apple, it was from Motorola, The Razr. It didn't do so well. And worse yet, Apple could see the day where Blackberry could have it's own music store and take on the iTunes store.

    The motivation behind the iPhone had more to do with protecting and expanding the iTunes store than it did for the love of ARM. ARM was the Apple defacto RISC processor that went along for the ride. Apple had partial ownership in Acorn as well. The explosive growth ARM received was from an extremely successful marketing campaign from Apple.

    As of right now there are a few companies, Facebook, Google who may have a very mild interest in an ARM server. But they can't really justify the enormous expenses. The only company I see that poses a real threat is QCOM. They may want to get into the carrier datacenters. They have the pockets deep enough for it and a bit of a motive. The problem is having a payback that justifies the effort.

    We've just seen $55 million blow away this past week with ARM servers. The problem was that this was venture capital money. When they got to this point and couldn't get any further it's because these very smart folks don't want to throw money out that won't get a return. These folks obviously looked at Intel's solution and didn't want to invest anymore. The $55 waste of money means that private equity won't' be funding anymore ARM Server ventures.

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    • We have a lot of smart people on this board who understand the technology behind ARM and Intel. Is it possible for there to be a compelling ARM server eventually? Technically yes, financially most likely not.

      To take down an Intel in server would take untold billions from QCOM. It would also take a TSMC that could turn out a compelling 20nm or 16nm ARM processor in the near future. So, as we enter 2014 be on the lookout for this joint announcement from QCOM and TSMC that they are working on this type of project. Otherwise I'd be very skeptical of any other major offensive.

      Google has other projects it works on, spending billions of dollars with little or no return wouldn't make sense. The billions can pay for a lot of excess energy. They are spending half a billion with Intel each year, thus a cost savings of ten to twenty percent per server wouldn't pay for the huge expense.

      And of course ,as our new friend on this board has pointed out, there is always AMD. The ARM server is it's great savior. It's always fun to root for the underdog. The Verizon Cloud big sale is a huge win full of press releases. Except the intro video on their website shows Intel servers. It's aimed at business solutions and it's about three years too late. At best it's work in progress and it's behind Microsoft and Google.

      This is what the future looks like, press releases for the small victories for the 8% of the market Intel doesn't have in servers. Intel has a long history of knocking down RISC based servers going back to the 1990's where Microsoft wrote NT to run on these servers because this is where the market was heading. Only to find out that the promises of RISC were overstated, and nobody had enough money back then to really take down Intel who had a much smaller server market share than they do today. AMD had nearly a 25% marketshare back in 2006 with the AMD64. They gave nearly all of it to Intel.

      • 1 Reply to intel_fanboy
      • We have a lot of smart people on this board who understand the technology behind ARM and Intel. Is it possible for there to be a compelling ARM server eventually? Technically yes, financially most likely not.
        ---

        A quote from a post by Wallis in "Calxeda Ends ARM Server Bid":

        "That market is now well served by established companies that have announced product plans, including AMD, Applied Micro, Cavium, Marvell, Nvidia, and Samsung"

        In the context of the post, they are all ARMv8 designs.

 
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