It is not a secret that Samsung Electronics has been hiring server chip specialists, particularly from Advanced Micro Devices and recently even got a former head of AMD server business unit, in order to build a system-on-chip for server apps. This week a South Korean media reported some additional details about Samsung's server efforts.
According to a a Seoul Economic Daily report cited by EETimes web-site, Samsung intends to release a very low-power multi-core ARM-architecture microprocessor for micro-servers some time in 2014. Moreover, the company will release high-performance multi-core ARM chips for systems running Microsoft Windows 8 later this year, probably along with its new media tablets or even convertibles.
The timing of Samsung's planned server processor implies that the company is working on a chip based on ARMv8 architecture. The conglomerate already introduced Exynos 5250, a dual-core ARM Cortex-A15 system-on-chip for mobile applications, late last year and based on its capabilities, adding ECC memory support and some other server-specific things would quickly make the SoC suitable for micro-servers. Therefore, it is natural to imply that Samsung is working on a 64-bit multi-core ARMv8 processor specifically designed for server applications that is due around two years from now.
Samsung Electronics is not the only designer of chips, who is working on server SoCs using ARM Cortex-A15 and ARM v8 technologies. There are a number of companies, including Applied Micro, Calxeda, Marvell, Nvidia and others, who are developing appropriate products. Adding server-specific functionality to chips many not be a problem, but what remains to be seen is whether such microprocessors will be powerful enough to compete against x86 in terms of raw performance.
Samsung did not comment on the news-story.