ARM unveils 64-bit Cortex-A50 server processors

AMR prepares to go up against chip making titan Intel with a Cortex-A50 series of processors is based on the ARMv8 architecture


British chip designer ARM has unveiled a new series of 64-bit microprocessors aimed at the server market.

The ARM Cortex-A50 series of processors is based on the ARMv8 architecture, with two designs slated for initial release. These new chips are the Cortex-A53 and the Cortex-A57. Both chips will feature energy-efficient 64-bit processing technology, as well as support for existing 32-bit processing.

The Cortex-A53 is designed as a high-performance part, while the Cortex-A57 has been designed with power efficiency in mind. ARM also claims that the Cortex-A57 is world's smallest 64-bit processor.

The chips can operate separately, or  combined into a ARM big.LITTLE processor combination . In this scenario the Cortex-A53 does the heavy lifting while the Cortex-A57 is used for any low-power applications.

Licensees of the new processor series include AMD, Broadcom, Calxeda, HiSilicon, Samsung and STMicroelectronics.

U.S.-based chip-maker AMD, which has resisted licensing ARM designs until 64-bit processors were available, has already announced plans to manufacture 64-bit server processors based on ARM's Cortex-A50 series designs, beginning in 2014.

According to AMD, these chips will fill a demand for denser sever clusters that pack more computing power into a smaller space. This, in turn, allows server rooms to be more efficient because less cooling is required.