These CPUs are intended to run Microsoft’s Windows Server.
At the Open Compute Summit yesterday, Qualcomm has announced a significant partnership with Microsoft that might change the entire server industry.
Qualcomm didn’t only created new server designs around the Microsoft’s Project Olympus specifications and its own Centriq 2400 SoCs, it’s also working with the tech giant to bring ARM support to Windows Server.
Qualcomm has been collaborating with Microsoft to bring software support for its platforms to market with Windows Server support. Here’s how the company describes these efforts:
The Qualcomm Centriq 2400 Open Compute Motherboard pairs QDT’s recently announced 10nm, 48-core server processor with the most advanced interfaces for memory, network, and peripherals enabling the OCP community to access and design ARM-based servers for the most common cloud compute workloads. It fits into a standard 1U server system, offering system vendors the flexibility to create innovative, configurable designs for compute-intensive data center workloads. It can be paired with compute accelerators, multi-host NICs, and leading-edge storage technologies such as NVMe to optimize performance for specific workloads.
Qualcomm is boasting the fact that Falkor is built on 10nm, but with so little additional information on how the core is built or how it performs. Packing a heck of 48 cores into a single chip is impressive, but making all of those cores scale and communicate effectively is a difficult challenge on its own. To date, Qualcomm hasn’t said much about how it handled these challenges or offered public data on its benchmark results.
These announced servers are apparently intended for Microsoft’s own internal use, and it isn’t clear when Microsoft will launch a commercial Windows Server on an ARM product. Still, the prospect of ARM backed by a Qualcomm / Microsoft partnership could give a pain in Intel’s side. To date, we haven’t seen much movement in this market, and AMD’s decision to put K12 on ice was, in our opinion, the right one — the ARM market simply isn’t mature enough to justify AMD bringing a new server part to market while they try to scale up Naples, its just-announced 32-core architecture. But still, a company like Qualcomm’s size could provide the cash influx needed to get the market moving.
However, expect that we might not see this 48-core chips roaming around in the market anytime soon. But, hearing this news, makes Intel a little…… scared again.