Oracle has become the second company to embrace server chips based on Arm designs, unveiling cloud computing service OCI Ampere A1 Compute.
The enterprise tech company said Ampere A1 is the “price-performance leader in the cloud” and that it is the first to offer instances on a $0.01 per core hour.
It is fully integrated with GitHub, GitLab and Jenkins. Oracle also said it is working with the open source community to “help expand the Arm ecosystem or solve the next scientific problem faster.”
“When we leverage the breadth of the Arm ecosystem, we are able to bring the benefits of collaboration to the developer community,” said Chris Bergey, SVP and GM, infrastructure line of business at Arm. “This new cloud solution from OCI is the result of Oracle, Arm, and Ampere bringing together what makes each company unique so that customers can run Arm-based applications easily in the cloud.”
Cambridge-headquartered Arm creates designs underpinning the chips powering many of the world’s smartphones, computers and edge devices. According to Arm figures, its partners sold more than 900 Arm-based chips per second in its latest quarter.
But for more than a decade, Intel’s x86 processor architecture and those created by AMD have been the dominant technology used in data centre chips.
Arm’s move into servers puts additional pressure on Intel. Last year Arm dealt a blow to Intel after Apple said it would switch Intel processors for its own custom M1 chips based on Arm technology.
“Arm’s ascendancy within the data centre space has amplified the troubles facing Intel,” noted GlobalData analysts last month, citing Intel’s slumping sales.
Oracle follows cloud giant Amazon Web Services (AWS) in using Arm-based chips in its data centre infrastructure. The Amazon subsidiary’s custom-built Graviton chip uses 64-bit Arm Neoverse cores and was first offered in 2018.
Unlike AWS, Oracle has worked with CPU design startup Ampere to create an ARM-based server chip sharing the same name as the platform, OCI Ampere A1 Compute. Microsoft Azure is also reportedly working on its own Arm processor designs for its data centres.
The deal with Oracle underscores the value of Arm in the chip supply chain amid its acquisition by graphics processing unit maker Nvidia.
This week Arm introduced its latest CPU and GPU designs, including its flagship Cortex-X2 and Cortex-A710 CPUs and Mali-G710 GPU, which also challenge Intel.