ARMing the low-power data center

In conversation with Chris Bergey, VP of Infrastructure Line of Business at ARM Holdings, with whom Joe discusses the ARM future in data centers, routers, washing machines and maybe even a computer or two.

2 December 2020 . 00:27:09

Show Notes for Series 02 Episode 11

Buy a computer chip with some serious “grunt” and you go for Intel, right? Or AMD, perhaps more likely, these days. In whichever case, it’s x86 architecture. That’s what data centers and clouds run on, after all — these are the serious computers for grown-ups.

The little voice of dissent you hear, however, hails from Cambridge, UK, a little company called ARM, recently acquired by NVIDIA for many billions of dollars. The voice is telling you not only are its chip designs as performant as those power-hungry x86 chips, but they run cooler.

It’s (nearly) just a case of recompiling your applications, and like magic, your cloud bill just fell by 30% overnight. Your power consumption and carbon footprint just shrank, too, and maybe your machine-learning algorithms got a boost. All in all, you look like a better IT professional.

Even Apple’s in on the act, although it’s not passing on the savings it makes by not having to buy Intel chips straight onto consumers. But nevertheless, Apple now makes its own ARM chips (or rather, it uses “Apple silicon”).

With a unique licensing model, anyone can make their own ARM processors or variant thereon; and in fact, as Chris Bergey of ARM says, the more the merrier! This is a guy who looks forward to reading his Twitter feed as delighted comments flow through his timeline.

There will soon be 200 billion ARM chips in the wild. What’s the fuss about? What will it mean to your business? Will every enterprise buy hundreds of Mac Minis? Joe and Chris enthuse together in this podcast.

Chris Bergey on LinkedIn:

And Joe’s LinkedIn is here:


Full transcript available.