Today at the Open Compute Summit, Qualcomm announced a significant partnership with Microsoft that could have ramifications for the entire server industry. Not only has Qualcomm created new server designs around Microsoft’s Project Olympus specifications and its own Centriq 2400 SoCs, it’s working with Microsoft to bring ARM support to Windows Server.
Last fall, Microsoft announced a new initiative, dubbed Project Olympus. According to Microsoft, Project Olympus “applies a model of open source collaboration that has been embraced for software but has historically been at odds with the physical demands of developing hardware.” The software firm pledged to release its specifications for cloud hardware designs when they are 50% complete rather than waiting to finalize them. Qualcomm has apparently been one of Microsoft’s major partners, at least as far as ARM servers are concerned.
Qualcomm has been collaborating with Microsoft to bring software support for its platforms to market with Windows Server support. Here’s how the company describes these efforts:
The Qualcomm Centriq 2400 Open Compute Motherboard pairs QDT’s recently announced 10nm, 48-core server processor with the most advanced interfaces for memory, network, and peripherals enabling the OCP community to access and design ARM-based servers for the most common cloud compute workloads. It fits into a standard 1U server system, offering system vendors the flexibility to create innovative, configurable designs for compute-intensive data center workloads. It can be paired with compute accelerators, multi-host NICs, and leading-edge storage technologies such as NVMe to optimize performance for specific workloads.