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Qualcomm Centriq Aims At Intel Xeon With Competitive Performance And Low Power

Tirias Research
Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
Paul Teich Paul Teich , Contributor

...Converting evaluations into production deployments may take up to a year for some customers. This is normal, as service providers must be absolutely sure that new hardware can survive in their production environment. Qualcomm’s brand and commitment gets them in the door, but Centriq must survive grueling evaluation cycles before cloud service providers deploy it at any kind of scale. As of the launch event, Qualcomm stated it had started taking orders for production Centriq 2400 parts. That starts the evaluation cycle.

In their own words

A lot of partners and potential customers spoke at the launch event. Press release quotes must be approved by legal and marketing departments; I find that on-stage ad libs say much more. Here are the top quotes I paid attention to:

Let me congratulate you on launching Centriq 2400. It’s the highest performance ARM processor and can actually run workloads that I care about.” –Dr. Leendert van Doorn, Distinguished Engineer, Microsoft Azure

Dr. van Doorn doesn’t mince words, ever. His team has evaluated all the available ARM server products. Earlier this year, Microsoft gave a nod to Qualcomm’s Centriq, Cavium’s ThunderX2, AMD’s EPYC and Intel’s Xeon Scalable processors as future processor alternatives for specific workloads in its Azure public cloud. Today’s launch fills in a final, vital piece of that competitive field.

Dr. Leendert van Doorn and Anand Chandrasekher at Qualcomm Centriq launch

In our application we get basically the same performance that we get from the Intel chips that we are deploying in the field right now with less than half of the usage in terms of power. We cut our [server] power bill in half.” … “If you have a workload that is something like CloudFlare’s, then it is a no brainer…” –Matthew Prince, CEO, CloudFlare

I have never seen a CEO of a cloud services company bounce around a stage with such enthusiasm for a new processor. Mr. Prince looks at Qualcomm’s Centriq as a tool to improve his bottom line and his quality of service. He showed his real-world NGINX workload performance numbers to back up his enthusiasm. Read the information packed slide he presented (below, based on engineering samples), it is stunning.

Mathew Prince at Qualcomm Centriq launch

We are preparing to do first integration and testing of this, we’ll start it and will actually publish all of the results of the testing of this in our environment. And then will expand that to multiple ODMs and OEMs once we’ll be able to release this, when it’s complete.” –Yuval Bachar, President and Chairman of the Board, Open19 Foundation; Global Data Center Infrastructure Architect, LinkedIn
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