Qualcomm to Build ARM-Based Server Chips
Moorhead, of Moor Insights and Strategy, said he is looking forward to Mollenkopf and other Qualcomm executives giving more details about the company's plans. Beyond the timetable, he said he wants to see what Qualcomm is doing regarding such technologies as high-bandwidth server memory and error-correcting code (ECC) memory and a data center fabric, which is crucial to ensuring that all the cores within the systems can communicate efficiently. He said he expects to see an aggressive Qualcomm when it finally gets into the space, which not only will make life difficult for the smaller ARM server SoC makers, but also Intel, which will find a larger and better-financed rival than it has had in recent years. "It's a really big deal because of the scale of their business and how they've approached the different markets they've gotten into," Moorhead said. "Qualcomm is not happy being second or third in any market they've ever gotten into." Mollenkopf said the company already has been talking with system makers.Jay Parikh, vice president of infrastructure engineering with Facebook, was on stage with Mollenkopf at one point. He said the social networking giant and its Snapdragon chips have been an important component of Facebook's success. "We always are looking for opportunities to really think about how we build the underlying cloud infrastructure that powers our Facebook applications," Parikh said. "Technologies like ARM-based servers are really interesting because of the different characteristics they provide in terms of performance, power [and] cooling. Qualcomm-based ARM servers give us the ability to rethink the way that we have built certain parts of our infrastructure."
"We're engaged with customers, and we are interested in this area for the long term," he said. "It will take us time to build this business, but we think it is an interesting opportunity moving forward and also provides us with customer contact not only into the device side but into the data center."