An upcoming version of Windows 10 for PCs is expected to support ARM-based chips, starting with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor. Now it looks like Microsoft is also working with Qualcomm to bring ARM support to its Windows Server operating system.
The Centriq 2400 is a 10nm ARMv8 processor designed for servers, and Qualcomm’s first Centriq-based product supports up to 48 CPU cores.
Qualcomm isn’t the first company to produce ARM-based chips for servers. But previous solutions haven’t been widely adopted and while they could support Linux-based server operating systems, they could not run Windows.
The entry of a major chip maker like Qualcomm into the space could increase the popularity of ARM chips in data centers. While ARM processors tend to be more energy efficient than x86 chips from companies like Intel and AMD, it’s not clear that will be the case for solutions that bundle 48 CPU cores into a single server.