Dell Using Marvell ARM for Servers
May 29, 2012 by William P. Meyers
Dell announced today that it is experimenting with ARM processor based servers and shipping product to partners. The "Copper" servers will be used mainly for evaluation. ARM processors currently are limited to 32-bit paths, but almost all current servers run 64-bit software. ARM is planning to introduce a 64-bit CPU architecture, probably some time in 2013. Dell presumably would start selling commercial quantities of the ARM based servers in 2014.
ARM licenses its architecture to many semiconductor companies. What ARM processor did Dell choose for its preliminary designs? ARMADA XP by Marvell.
This critical detail is near the bottom of the Dell ARM Servers press release. In the more detailed Introducing Copper blog there is a a video of a talk with Christina Tiner, who points out the ARMADAs about a minute and a half into the video.
There is also a Marvell Powers Dell Copper ARM Server release from Marvell.
It is probably no reason to buy or sell Marvell stock. ARMADA is getting a lot of traction, but you can bet other ARM processor makers like Texas Instruments will be gunning for the slot in the commercial run. Dell could even abandon the project if customers decide that ARM really is not all that great at running web workloads when compared to x86 based processors.
Still, it puts Marvell on the inside track to what may the next big wave in computer processing.
Disclaimer: I am invested in Marvell stock.
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