ARM is on the verge of unveiling a 64-bit version of its processor chips, according to various sources. If true, the move would be another step forward in the firm's plans to move beyond mobile devices and compete with x86 chips in the server space.
The rumours claim that ARM has already shown off 64-bit processor samples in private, and that an announcement may come as soon as next week.
However, the chip design firm had not responded to requests from V3.co.uk for confirmation at the time of writing.
ARM has made no secret about seeking to expand beyond its niche as the processor architecture of choice for mobile devices, especially smartphones.
The company received European Commission funding earlier this year for research into more energy efficient datacentre platforms based on ARM chips.
ARM has also announced the Cortex-A15, a design unveiled in September that can scale up to produce chips with many cores, to target devices from smartphones to servers.
The Cortex-A15 is still a 32-bit chip, but supports 40-bit memory addressing for up to 1TB of memory, plus hardware support for virtualisation.
A 64-bit version of the ARM architecture would allow the chips to process data in larger chunks, as with current Intel and AMD chips, which would make ARM processors better suited to more demanding applications.
Most server operating systems are also created to target 64-bit processor architectures, which could be prove to be the real cause for any 64-bit move by ARM.
However, the company does not manufacture silicon itself, but licenses its designs to chipmakers such as Texas Instruments, Samsung and Qualcomm.
It will therefore be two or three years before any ARM chip announced now filters through into shipping systems.
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