Prototype ARM 64-bit server chips might become available before the end of 2012

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It is possible that prototype 64-bit ARM server chips will become available for testing as early as the end of this year, ARM said yesterday. The latest that the company expects the protoype chips to be ready is mid-2013.

ARM, working with partner Applied Micro Circuits, is hoping to have inexpensive 64-bit hardware available soon as there has been a lot of interest expressed in a low-cost, low-power servers, particularly in the field of processing online transactions.

Dell and HP are already testing prototype ARM-based servers but, according to Dell, the lack of 64-bit addressing means that the chips are not quite ready to function in that role in data centers.

ARM’s 64-bit servers will be composed on Applied Micro Circuits’ X-Gene, which is based on ARM’s 64-bit architecture. Ian Ferguson, director of server systems and ecosystem at ARM, said that he would expect the servers to be ready for shipping “in the 2014 timeframe.”

Two other chip designs based on the ARM-v8 architecture, codenamed Apollo and Atlas,  are expected to launch by the end of the year. No hardware based on those designs is expected before 2014 and few other details were given but Ferguson did state that one would be a 32-bit and the other a 64-bit design.

Source: PC World

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