Global Sources
EE Times-India
Stay in touch with EE Times India
EE Times-India > Embedded

Microsoft calls for multi-core datacenter server SoCs

Posted: 01 Feb 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:multi-core  SoCs  servers  datacenter 

Speaking at the Linley Tech Data Centre Conference, Microsoft Corp.'s datacenter group engineer said that a new class of multi-core SoCs were required to drive lower-power servers required by tomorrow's datacenters. However, he said, the use of ARM chips was unlikely in the foreseeable future.

"I've been involved in instruction-set architecture transitions multiple times, and they are extremely painful," narrated Dileep Bhandarkar, an engineer responsible for server hardware architecture and standards for global foundation services, Microsoft.

"The rule of thumb is to make that kind of change you have to have at least a sustainable 2x performance improvement per dollar or per watt―and ARM is not there," he explained.

"ARM's interesting to look at, and if it lights a fire under Intel and AMD that makes us happy," said Bhandarkar, who as with Intel Corp. for several years before joining Microsoft in 2007.

The breadth of server software used in today's datacenters makes use of ARM unlikely in the foreseeable future, even though Microsoft announced it will support ARM in the next version of Windows, he added.

Bhandarkar called for 16-core SoCs based on Intel Atom or AMD Bobcat cores. Such chips should integrate all the core logic and I/O functions the companies now put in separate chips, he said. "There's a huge opportunity using these smaller cores to be more energy efficient, and we are talking to both AMD and Intel [about that]," he added.

Microsoft operates between ten and 60 datacenters worldwide, each using thousands of servers to run its online business that has hundreds of millions of email, Web and search users.

So far the centres use only x86 chips, typically the lowest power versions. It is currently using dual-socket boards with quad-core chips using a single virtual machine per core.

1 • 2 Next Page Last Page

Comment on "Microsoft calls for multi-core datac..."
*  You can enter [0] more charecters.
*Verify code:


Visit Asia Webinars to learn about the latest in technology and get practical design tips.


Go to top             Connect on Facebook      Follow us on Twitter      Follow us on Orkut

Back to Top