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Dell: ARM server adoption fails to impress

by on05 August 2014

Processor delays to blame

Adoption of ARM-based servers has stalled due to product delays and other issues, according to dell exec Forrest Norrod.

Norrod, Dell's general manager for servers, argues the main advantage of ARM cores is slowly melting away as x86 chips are catching up in terms of power efficiency. Norrod told PC World that the ARM server ecosystem is developing slower than expected.

The most obvious problem with ARM servers is that the new 64-bit Cortex A57 core is simply not available commercially. AMD's first ARM-based server parts have been delayed and competing chipmakers are dragging their feet. Meanwhile Intel has decided to expand its low-power server CPU line-up, closing the gap with ARM parts.

A number of industry heavyweights, including Dell and Hewlett-Packard, are planning to introduce ARM-based servers, but so far there's been little progress to report.

Norrod raises another question - it is unclear whether or not companies will be willing to invest in ARM server architectures while at the same time maintaining their legacy x86 platforms. The ecosystem is relatively small and it is hard to justify the expense.

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