Qualcomm has started commercial sampling and conducted a live demonstration of the first 10nm server processor in its Centriq product family-- the Qualcomm Centriq 2400 series.
The Qualcomm Centriq 2400 series has up to 48-cores and is built on the 10nm FinFET process technology. This processor is purpose-built for performance-oriented datacenter applications. As the first in the Qualcomm Centriq product family, the Qualcomm Centriq 2400 features a Qualcomm Falkor CPU - Qualcomm's custom ARMv8 CPU core that's optimized for server-class workloads. Falkor was designed to be SBSA compliant, which ensures that software that runs on any ARMv8 server platform would also be able to run on a Qualcomm Centriq 2400-based server platform (and vice-versa).
The foundry is presumably Samsung, where Qualcomm has increasingly been making its Snapdragon parts. The partnership makes sense as Samsung is also Snapdragon?s top customer.
"The Qualcomm Centriq 2400 series processors will drive high performance, power efficient ARM-based servers from concept to reality," said Anand Chandrasekher, senior vice president and general manager, Qualcomm Datacenter Technologies, Inc. "Qualcomm requires the leading edge of integrated circuit technology to deliver high performance at low power for the newest premium smartphones. We are first in 10nm IC technology for mobile, and leveraging our expertise in ARM processors and system on chip design, we are the first with our Qualcomm Centriq family of server processors to bring the leading edge to the datacenter."
Chandrasekher declined to give the value proposition for Centriq, let alone its frequency, power consumption, or cost. Chip details will start to come out next year, beginning with the Open Compute Project event in March.
As part of today's event, Qualcomm Datacenter Technologies demonstrated Apache Spark and Hadoop on Linux and Java running on a Qualcomm Centriq 2400 processor.
Qualcomm is sampling the Centriq 2400 processor series to customers and is expected to be commercially available in the second half of 2017.
But whether mobile prowess paves a path to server success remains to be seen. Some analysts believe that it will take at least two years to make a dent in Intel's dominance of servers with Xeon.
"Rival" Intel won't have a 10-nm Xeon until 2018. But the x86 giant will probably argue that the foundry 10-nm processes aren't as good as Intel's 14-nm.
The other last big remaining ARM server SoC competitor is Cavium. It is expected to ship a 14-nm ThunderX2 with 54 cores running at 2.6 GHz by early 2018.
China's big data centers could be the first to grab ARM servers, and a Baidu engineer said that his company is testing ARMv8 systems.