Microsoft has announced that it has for the first time decided to begin using chips based on ARM Holdings designs on the hundreds of thousands of servers running their services in the cloud.
The company made the announcement during the keynote address at the Open Compute Project Summit 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center.
This is not exactly good news for Intel, which has been a traditional Microsoft partner and king in the data center processor market. Because ARM processors use less power than Intel’s, Microsoft is trying to cut costs for its Azure cloud business.
Microsoft has more than 100 data centers worldwide in 38 regions that are candidates to use their new cloud-based servers, which are based on a design called Project Olympus and powered by ARM-based chips.
Working with ARM server partners, Qualcomm and Cavium, Microsoft developed a version of its Windows operating system for servers using ARM processors. The company said it is now testing ARM chips for routine functions such as searching, learning machines, storing and processing large data.
Both the server design and Microsoft’s work with ARM-based processors are indicative of the company’s in-house initiative to use hardware innovations to reduce costs, increase flexibility, and stay competitive with Amazon Web Services and Google, which Also offer, web services and cloud storage.