Menu
After conquering the iPhone, chip designer ARM chases supercomputers

After conquering the iPhone, chip designer ARM chases supercomputers

ARM is graduating from mobile devices to high-performance computers with an upcoming CPU architecture

Having dominated the mobile world for some time, ARM -- the company whose CPU design is in Apple's iPhone -- is now going after the fastest computers in the world.

The chip-design company wants to graduate its processor architecture and take on complex calculations that drive tasks like weather modeling, economic forecasting and scientific research -- the domain of high-performance computing (HPC).

Next month, ARM will detail the "ARMv8-A Next Generation Vector Architecture for HPC" at the Hot Chips conference. The architecture will be based on 64-bit CPUs, but ARM declined to share further information on it.

For ARM, HPC is a new market. While it has been successful in tablets and smartphones, it has failed to rock PCs, and it is struggling to get into servers, despite widespread interest on the part of hardware makers. There are software issues involved, and customers don't want to change from x86 to ARM overnight.

ARM-based chips are built for mobile devices; their power-saving features give smartphones long battery life. But the ARM architecture will need an overhaul for faster systems, and vector processing features could push it up the computing food chain.

The new design could be something like that of Intel's Xeon Phi supercomputer chip, which mixes Atom x86 CPUs and vector processors.

It's also important for ARM to keep current supercomputing trends in mind as it formulates the new architecture. On its part, Intel has said it will include more machine learning features and instructions in future Xeon Phi chips.

Will the new chip architecture come to smartphones like the iPhone? Perhaps not anytime soon. But as the architecture evolves, ARM could adapt features for its mobile processor architecture.

Fujitsu has already adopted ARM processors for its next supercomputer, called Post-K, the successor to the SPARC-based K computer, which is ranked the world's fifth fastest supercomputer by the Top500 list released last month. Fujitsu may use the new chip architecture being formulated by ARM.

Most supercomputers now run on x86 chips from Intel. IBM's Power processors are also used in supercomputers. The world's fastest supercomputer, TaihuLight, is however based on a homegrown Chinese chip.

In addition, coprocessors like Nvidia's GPUs are also being used alongside CPUs for high-performance computing.


Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

Sizing up the NZ security spectrum - Where's the channel sweet spot?

Sizing up the NZ security spectrum - Where's the channel sweet spot?

From new extortion schemes, outside threats and rising cyber attacks, the art of securing the enterprise has seldom been so complex or challenging. With distance no longer a viable defence, Kiwi businesses are fighting to stay ahead of the security curve. In total, 28 per cent of local businesses faced a cyber attack last year, with the number in New Zealand set to rise in 2017. Yet amidst the sensationalism, media headlines and ongoing high profile breaches, confusion floods the channel, as partners seek strategic methods to combat rising sophistication from attackers. In sizing up the security spectrum, this Reseller News roundtable - in association with F5 Networks, Kaspersky Lab, Tech Data, Sophos and SonicWall - assessed where the channel sweet spot is within the New Zealand channel. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Sizing up the NZ security spectrum - Where's the channel sweet spot?
Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

The channel came together for another round of After Hours, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and partners descending on The Jefferson in Auckland. Photos by Maria Stefina.​

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours
Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Emerging start-up Consegna has officially launched its cloud offerings in the New Zealand market, through a kick-off event held at Seafarers Building in Auckland.​ Founded in June 2016, the Auckland-based business is backed by AWS and supported by a global team of cloud specialists, leveraging global managed services partnerships with Rackspace locally.

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland
Show Comments