Qualcomm announces 48-core ARM CPU to run Microsoft Windows Server

Qualcomm Centriq 2400At the Open Computing Summit, Qualcomm came out with a significant partnership with the software giant, Microsoft that shook the entire server industry. Not only did Qualcomm create new server designs, but they also have come up with a completely new SoC or System-on-a-Chip named Centriq 2400 that can run Windows Server.

The First 10nm Server Chip

Last fall, Microsoft came forward with Project Olympus. According to the software giant, Project Olympus “applies a model of open source collaboration that has been embraced for software but has historically been at odds with the physical demands of developing hardware.”

The company was willing to release their cloud and hardware specification for servers when they were only 50% complete, instead of waiting for finalization. In this project, Qualcomm has been one of the major partners of Microsoft.

Qualcomm is hyping with the advantages of their 10nm CPU, but performance is yet to be tested. The CPU comes with 48 cores, but as far as single core performance goes, it is still untested. The new Falkor SoCs running Windows Server, is only intended for internal use at the moment. Also, Qualcomm has not provided any benchmarks publicly.

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Previously however, Microsoft showed how Windows 10 Enterprise ran flawlessly on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC. It could run Win32 apps like Photoshop using emulation and also play games from the Windows Store.

A thorn in Intel’s side

Microsoft’s new partnership with Qualcomm may be a big problem for Intel. Intel has low-cost Xeon solution for servers for years, but they did not receive much upgrades lately. Also, AMD has recently decided to scale up their Naples architecture. With the impressive performance from AMD’s Ryzen CPUs, the 32 core Naples CPUs with 8 memory channels, and its new, 128-lane Infinity Fabric could bring some tough competition to Intel. With SMT on, AMD’s Naples will increase the core count to 128. Moreover, if Microsoft is serious about bringing Windows Server on ARM processors, Intel could be facing a war on two sides very soon.

Source: Extreme Tech

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