There has been a fair bit of speculation that chip-designer ARM will take a giant step into Intel's home turf by pushing its processors into the server market. However, the company's is hindered by the fact that its highly specialised SoCs don't include some of the features needed for use data centres.
One of these is 64-bit addressing, but apparently the company has no plans to develop a 64-bit chip in the near future. However, ARM's CEO, Warren East, didn't see this as a problem when questioned on the issue during an earnings conference call last week.
"There are certainly server applications today...for which 64-bit or lack of 64-bit is not a barrier...a 32-bit processors perfectly adequate to address that in [typical] multi-core configurations and Blades with multiple multi-core chips on the Blade," he noted.
He added that the Cortex A15 architecture - which TI has just launched with its new OMAP 5 SoC - supports 40-bit addressing, which some servers rely on.
Of course, 64-bit addressing is certainly on the cards at some point. East continued, "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".
In the short-term, a lack of 64-bit capable processors would limit the usefulness of ARM designs in high-performance servers. However, a large number of low-power, low-speed processors are much better suited to cloud- and web-based servers anyway, where 32-bit tasks are likely to be a lot more common. However, with high-performance ARM processors coming soon courtesy of companies like NVIDIA, 64-bit addressing might soon become much more important.