This isn't a blog about adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs). Rather, its about a newer type of chip technology from ARM Holdings, a UK-based company, that has the potential to lower energy use and extend battery life in smaller devices. Will the technology find its way to PCs and servers? And should Intel be worried?With many Wall Street data centers already short on space and available power, financial firms and technology providers are doing all they can to maximize the capacity of data center architectures, all while attempting to lower energy consumption. Simply adding more higher power processors that soak up vast amounts of power is no longer an option at some data centers - especially ones located in metropolitan areas.
As this The New York Times article shows, Qualcomm has licensed a low-powered chip technology from ARM Holdings that can deliver high-def video on a handheld device all while drawing less than half the power of a recently introduced chip from Intel.
Granted, the chips - mostly from Intel and AMD - that Wall Street firms use to power latency-sensitive trading applications are much more powerful than the chips used in handheld devices. But observers are already looking ahead a few years and asking if ARM Holding-type technology could find its way into data centers, all while providing performance similar to chips from Intel and AMD?
Even if the chips based on the ARM technology could provide similar performance, don't expect Intel to hand over its sizable marketshare and quietly walk away. As the NY Times article points out, next month Intel ships its Atom chip, which provides tenfold reduction in power consumption from the current chips in many desktop PCs. And in 2010, it will ship Moorestown, Intel's next generation of low-power chips.ARM Holdings new handheld chip has the potential to lower energy use and extend battery life in smaller devices. Will the technology find its way to PCs and servers? Greg MacSweeney is editorial director of InformationWeek Financial Services, whose brands include Wall Street & Technology, Bank Systems & Technology, Advanced Trading, and Insurance & Technology. View Full Bio