Applied Micro is betting big on microserver use in the HPC market, and to help things along, it's just begun shipping its new X-Gene processors, based on ARM's v8 64-bit architecture. In late June, the firm revealed a number of partners that would be shipping servers with its X-Gene chip inside, and one similarity amongst them all is that they also bundle in NVIDIA Tesla GPU accelerators. It's no secret that ARM's v8 architecture isn't as full-featured as Intel's, with its Xeon chips, but in some cases, that might be just fine. For the hardcore data-handling, the GPU could step in.
On Tuesday, Applied Micro missed expectations on Wall Street, but noted that the next couple of quarters are going to be far more attractive. In fact, the company claims to have a backlog of orders to fulfill through to next March. To date, the company has claimed a revenue of about $1 million for X-Gene.
Where Intel's concerned, microservers are still not a big threat. Company spokesman Bill Calder has been quoted as saying, "While we don't take any competition lightly, the much-hyped threat of ARM servers getting any significant market segment share any time soon has been vastly overplayed." Admittedly, we have been hearing about microservers for quite some time, and are constantly being told that the future is bright. However, as the CPU+GPU game continues to ramp up, microservers still could play a large role in the future of HPC.