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Qualcomm Looks To Get Into The ARM Server Business

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  • Qualcomm Looks To Get Into The ARM Server Business

    Phoronix: Qualcomm Looks To Get Into The ARM Server Business

    While Qualcomm is still dominating in the mobile phone chip world as the largest supplier of SoCs for smartphones, the company has ambitions of getting into the server market...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTg0NTA

  • #2
    One of the reasons as to why ATI was such a big problem for AMD back when they bought it, was the fact that the bad graphics driver situation reflected pretty badly on AMDs server business. AMD had a load of valid business reasons to open source things, whereas ATIs internal inertia and their FireGL software business was opposed to open source...

    So if Qualcomm wants to go into servers properly, and compete with intel, they better think long and hard about supporting Rob.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by libv View Post
      One of the reasons as to why ATI was such a big problem for AMD back when they bought it, was the fact that the bad graphics driver situation reflected pretty badly on AMDs server business. AMD had a load of valid business reasons to open source things, whereas ATIs internal inertia and their FireGL software business was opposed to open source...

      So if Qualcomm wants to go into servers properly, and compete with intel, they better think long and hard about supporting Rob.
      Yeah it's probablly not cool if you are stuck on an ancient Linux because Quallcomm can't figure out how to run the drivers on a newer one.
      But as long as they only make CPU's there should not be any driver needed?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by libv View Post
        One of the reasons as to why ATI was such a big problem for AMD back when they bought it, was the fact that the bad graphics driver situation reflected pretty badly on AMDs server business. AMD had a load of valid business reasons to open source things, whereas ATIs internal inertia and their FireGL software business was opposed to open source...

        So if Qualcomm wants to go into servers properly, and compete with intel, they better think long and hard about supporting Rob.
        Hi Luc, since you are in the ARM GPU at the moment, can you elborate what stops ARM Ltd., Quallcom, etc. to if not opensource their drivers, but at least to provide GPU docs( ISA, caches, etc. ). I just can't imagine it to be from compepative advantage. I mean, most of the powerfull GPUs are already open ( Intels, AMDs, and NVidia's through Nouveau project. Is it lack of resources ( hard to imagine, too), neglect, lazyness to sanitize te docs for the public? What the heck is going on with this guys? Thanks.

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        • #5
          Just a thought, but why didn't AMD buy out Calxeda, or at least hire some of their engineers? It'd probably be cheaper and easier for them in the long run and at least then Calxeda's work wouldn't go to waste.

          I think AMD getting into the ARM server market is a good choice, but I'm not sure what Qualcomm will gain with servers. AMD has the knowledge and resources to merge other server hardware you'd find on x86 platforms with ARM CPUs. This could be HUGE if they manage to pull that off. Since GPGPUs don't need much CPU attention, AMD could create ARM-based servers packed with 4 PCIe GPUs. It might be cheaper and less power consuming than using their own x86 products. Might even take up less physical space. I have a feeling this isn't what they're going to do, but it'd be cool anyway. If AMD could also do an x86-64-ARM architecture (where the CPU cores can run either x86 or ARM software) then I think they'd have a seriously competitive product.

          But anyway more on Qualcomm - maybe they're trying to beat Samsung to the punch. In case many of you aren't aware, new ARM devices can be very annoying to get into at first. When the devices have been around long enough, they're easier to work with. So if Qualcomm gets their servers out before a company like Samsung, they'll have an edge in support and compatibility.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
            Just a thought, but why didn't AMD buy out Calxeda, or at least hire some of their engineers? It'd probably be cheaper and easier for them in the long run and at least then Calxeda's work wouldn't go to waste.
            Because they bought SeaMicro?

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            • #7
              Maybe a stupid question but why ARM server??
              AFAIK, ARM architecture is based on RISC which is less performant than CISC like x86, so why would someone buy an ARM server ? I mean for smarphone I understand they produce less heat but in a server environement who cares about that.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Arkhchance View Post
                Maybe a stupid question but why ARM server??
                AFAIK, ARM architecture is based on RISC which is less performant than CISC like x86, so why would someone buy an ARM server ? I mean for smarphone I understand they produce less heat but in a server environement who cares about that.
                There are lots of servers out there don't need all that CPU power and there are tons of servers out that that would be fine with more CPUs but lower power. The world isn't black and white with servers running full tilt 24/7 and needing top notch performance everywhere. There is also the issue of thinking a bit broader of what a server is. As in things like a NAS or other appliances for example.
                Last edited by brad0; 11-21-2014, 09:04 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by brad0 View Post
                  There are lots of servers out there don't need all that CPU power and there are tons of servers out that that would be fine with more CPUs but lower power. The world isn't black and white with servers running full tilt 24/7 and needing top notch performance everywhere. There is also the issue of thinking a bit broader of what a server is. As in things like a NAS or other appliances for example.
                  But that is why all recent cloud saga. Application containers, Docker, Heroku, CloudFoudary, etc. They are hosting ton of not power hungry apps in to one x86 machine.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Drago View Post
                    But that is why all recent cloud saga. Application containers, Docker, Heroku, CloudFoudary, etc. They are hosting ton of not power hungry apps in to one x86 machine.
                    I'm not talking about those use cases at all. All this cloud crap might be meaningful when everyone has 1Gbit or faster connections to their home/business.

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