ARM, the company responsible for the majority of processors in today's smartphones, does not have plans to add 64-bit support to its architecture anytime soon. Given that the company plans to take on Intel and AMD in the server market three years from now, color us surprised.
During a conference call with financial analysts, ARM CEO Warren East was asked whether he thought his company needed 64-bit support to penetrate the server market. Here's his reply:
Well, the 64-bit question, its true a lot of service today, use 64-bit and some applications which run on service rely on 64-bit. Some rely on 40-bit addressing and that's built into Cortex-A15. And so whilst Cortex-A15 is a 32-bit processor, it has the extended addressing. And this is a sort of ongoing thing. There are certainly server applications today which for which 64-bit or lack of 64-bit is not a barrier, nor a 32-bit processors perfectly adequate to address that in typically multi-core configurations and Blades with multiple multicore chips on the Blade.
That's where we are today. And out in 2015, then we're not in the business of announcing our 64-bit products today by the way. But it's logical to suppose that at some stage in the future, ARM will extend its architecture in that direction. And it would certainly be helpful as and when we have those sorts of products. But right now, we're not ready to talk about those sorts of products and then large chunk of the server market is available with the product roadmap that we have.
All the latest server processors and server software of today are 64-bit capable. We're not sure if ARM should be underestimating the importance of 64-bit support, but then again, we're also not completely certain the company needs to enter the server market in the first place. It's not like the mobile chip market is going away anytime soon.