Qualcomm has joined forces with Microsoft to bring Windows Server OS to an ARM server for the first-time ever.
In a move that will put more pressure on Intel in the data centre market just a day after AMD announced its next-gen Naples server CPU, Qualcomm announced that the two firms will this week successfully demonstrate Windows Server running on its 10nm Centriq 2400 system.
However, Qualcomm was quick to note that ARM-based Windows Server hardware is for Microsoft's internal use only at present, and there's no word on wider availability just yet.
Regardless, this is a big deal, with, current editions of Windows Server only supported on systems with x86 chips from Intel and AMD. It's not that surprising, though, given that Microsoft's Windows 10 IoT and Mobile platforms already work on ARM processors.
Qualcomm has developed special Windows Server hardware based on its Centriq 2400 processor, which offers 48 ARMv8-compliant cores targeting compute-intensive data centre applications that require power efficiency and is built on the 10nm FinFET manufacturing process.
It also fits into a standard 1U server system, offering system vendors the flexibility to create innovative, configurable designs for compute-intensive datacenter workloads, and can be paired with compute accelerators, multi-host NICs, and leading-edge storage technologies such as NVMe to optimise performance for specific workloads.
The server is based on a new version of Project Olympus, which is an open-source cloud hardware server design developed by Microsoft in collaboration with OCP.
Ram Peddibhotla, vice president of product management at Qualcomm Data Centre Technologies, said: "QDT is accelerating innovation in data centres by delivering the world's first 10nm server platform.
"Our collaboration with Microsoft and contribution to the OCP community enables innovations such as Qualcomm Centriq 2400 to be designed in and deployed into the data centres rapidly. In collaborating with Microsoft and other industry-leading partners, we are democratising system design and enabling a broad-based ARM server ecosystem."
Qualcomm said that the Centriq 2400 Open Compute Motherboard will be on display at Microsoft's booth Open Computer Platform US Summit in Santa Clara this week.
This announcement comes after Microsoft last year revealed Qualcomm's ARM-based chips will be able to run the full Windows 10 OS later this year.
Terry Myerson, executive vice president of the Windows and Devices Group at Microsoft, said at the time: "We are excited to bring Windows 10 to the ARM ecosystem with Qualcomm Technologies.
"We continue to look for ways to empower our customers to create wherever they are. Bringing Windows 10 to life with a range of thin, light, power-efficient and always-connected devices, powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon platform, is the next step in delivering the innovations our customers love - touch, pen, Windows Hello, and more - anytime, anywhere."
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