Microsoft Shows Off ARM and AMD on Windows Server



/ 3 months ago

With large technology firms, it is quite common for them to run a customized server hardware platform custom built for their needs. One of the recent trends has been to open source these deigns and share them with everyone else. Project Olympus has been Microsoft’s offering to the public and the company has announced a major update that dramatically shakes up their Windows Server offerings. Both ARM and AMD CPUs are now in the running for Project Olympus, a previously Intel x86 exclusive domain.

In many ways, the return of AMD to the server marketplace is expected. Ryzen and Zen finally offer a performance competitive solution against Intel and is an efficiency champion to boot, a must have for the server market. With AMD using the same x86 instruction, it is a no-brainer to bring some more competition in, especially against Intel’s pricey Xeons. AMD’s Naples 32 core 64 thread chip is but one example, offering the highest single chip core count yet for x86. The only areas Ryzen is weak in is in floating point performance but GPUs can take the load on easily.

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The more surprising entrant is the presence of ARM which is migrating to enterprise Windows at last with 48 core Qualcomm SoCs. As we’ve previously reported, Microsoft is planning on bringing a consumer version of Windows for ARM as well as making x86 emulation easier and faster. It makes sense to bring support for ARM as it has been making inroads into the server space and servers are relatively more diverse than the consumer market when it comes to CPUs. Perhaps this may mark the end of the unofficial Wintel domination we’ve had for so long.


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