BlogBig changes in server hardware

Modern technologies allow to pack several billion transistors in one chip. One of consequences: it starts to produce big amount of heat and loses its ability to switch.



When manufacturers have met this physical limitation, they decided to attract more customers by including specific hardware in their products. Such as GPS and radio in mobile phone or integrated GPU or RAID in desktop computer, which would have previously been implemented as stand alone devices, since they were not used very often.



Similar changes occur in servers as well. Systems, used by network carriers ( Telco, Telefonica, T-Mobile ) and datacenters start to look like clouds and the current trend, of course, is to lower power consumption.



Turned out it makes no sense to add cores, as most of programs cannot be parallelized. Also, as shown in article Best practices for scalability from an economical perspective., additional cores would not give good improvement in performance, but consume more power.



That was the reason popular services ( Amazon, Facebook and even Microsoft ) have started to use alternative to X86 in their datacenters.


Currently most prominent alternative is server variant of Snapdragon ARM processor from Qualcomm. It is cheaper, it produce less heat and do not have useless functions in them. Even Microsoft has ported their Windows to ARM architecture.



Evidently we are witnessing the end of X86 architecture. People tend to use mobile devices powered by ARM. Big carriers and datacenters move part of their systems to Qualcomm ARM-based hardware. Software developers will want to test their programs on popular ARM hardware as well.



20 May, 2015 Qualcomm Snapdragon
Qualcomm Snapdragon