Facebook Boosts ARM

Today ARM got a big thumbs up from Facebook by being added to Facebook’s Open Compute Project aimed at modularising servers.

This means that Facebook and other server customers will be able to buy servers from companies which use both x86 processors and ARM processors.

The Open Compute Project includes the goal of a ‘common slot architecture’ which means that server manufacturers can use x86 or ARM processors interchangeably.

At today’s announcement of the addition of ARM to the Open Compute Project, Frank Frankovsky, Facebook’s vp of hardware design, showed off a server board containing five Intel processors and five 64-bit ARM processors made by AppliedMicro.

The common slot architecture goal is backed by Intel and AMD of the x86 camp and AppliedMicro, Calxeda and Tilera of the ARM camp.

The Open Compute Project has been running for 18 months. The aim of it is to give server customers more control over the make up of servers by offering them interchangeable modules to customize servers more closely to their individual needs.

HP and Dell are members of the Open Compute Project.

Tags: Intel, intel processors, server manufacturers, tilera, x86 processors

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6 Comments

  1. georgegrimes-ti-com.myopenid.com
    January 18, 2013 17:13

    The latest estimate that I could quickly find was from August of 2012. It stated that Facebook owned over 180 thousand servers at that time.

  2. SecretEuroPatentAgentMan
    January 18, 2013 08:31

    Large companies keep their own hardware and operating cost including electric power is significant. Even for telcos the electricity bill for operating the base stations are large enough for suppliers to use energy efficiency as a selling point.

  3. David Manners
    January 17, 2013 11:21

    Dunno, Mr C but if you’re having to cope with 300 million photos being up-loaded every day, 500TB of data being stored every day and 2.5 billion content items shared every day – and all growing – then maybe it’s cheaper to own your own servers than rent them.

  4. Mr Cynical
    January 17, 2013 11:00

    What they haven’t out-sourced it? How remiss of them!

  5. David Manners
    January 17, 2013 09:50

    Maybe they use a lot of servers, Mr C – like Google and Microsoft.

  6. Mr Cynical
    January 17, 2013 09:26

    Can someone explain to me why a software “social utility” company is involving itself with hardware?

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