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AppliedMicro Announces Processor Based On 64-bit ARM Architecture

AppliedMicro boasts the world's first processor based on ARM's 64-bit architecture, said to enable more energy-efficient cloud computing and reduce storage costs.

The multi-core, 64-bit processors leverage ARMv8 compliant cores, which can operate at up to 3 GHz, and can reduce server costs and power by more than 50 percent, according to AppliedMicro.

X-Gene processors, which are being touted as the world’s first Server-on-a-Chip (SoC), are intended for cloud computing, wireless infrastructure, enterprise networking, storage, and security applications. According to AppliedMicro, the X-Gene launch is in response to rapid data center growth – due to the rise of social media and cloud computing – and the negative environmental implications it presents.

"The current growth trajectory of data centers, driven by the viral explosion of social media and cloud computing applications, will continue to accelerate," Dr. Paramesh Gopi, President and CEO of AppliedMicro, said in a statement. "In offering the world’s first 64-bit ARM architecture processor, we harmonize the network with cloud computing and environmental responsibility. Our next-generation of multicore SoCs will bring in a new era of energy efficient performance that doesn’t break the bank on a limited power supply. In doing so, AppliedMicro becomes a more complete cloud computing technology provider for one of the hottest growth drivers in the industry."

Jim Johnston, senior director of product marketing at AppliedMicro, is also confident that the launch of X-Gene will boost the firm’s competitive edge in the cloud-computing and server space. "ARM is very well known for its power-efficiency," Johnston told CRN. "So bringing the 64-bit ARM architecture into the server space allows us to address a large share of the market and gives us an alternative to Intel architecture. We are enabling more performance, will less power."

ROI is not only achieved through reduced power requirements, Johnston explained, but through lower cooling costs as well. Given the enormity of some data centers, AC and cooling equipment costs can easily sky-rocket, leading to hefty maintenance fees.

In addition to reduced cooling costs and energy conservation, Johnston cited scalability as one of X-Gene’s major selling points. "While power efficiency is a huge component, there are many different classes of servers with varying performance requirements, so the scalability of the architecture – from two to 128 cores at 3GHz – is also very compelling feature," Johnston said.

Initial samples of AppliedMicro’s X-Gene server-on-a-chip devices are expected in the second half of 2012 and will be produced at TSMC.

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