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Is ARM the architecture of the future?

Here at Fosshost, we are big fans of the ARM architecture. Our service, AArch64, is proof of that. In the consumer space, the demand for the architecture seems to be increasing every year. Is ARM the architecture of the future?

In February 2020, Arm Limited published an article that shared some numbers for units shipped by its partners. In the last quarter of 2019, 6.4 billion Arm-based chips and 4.2 billion Cortex-M processors for embed devices were shipped. Between 2017 and 2020, Arm Limited partners shipped an average of over 22 billion Arm-based units per year, totalling more than 160 billion chips since 1991.

What sparked this growth? Arm-based devices were known, back in the day and until a few years ago, as lower cost and lower power consumption processors. Today, they can perform at least as much as the x86 architecture.

InfoQ's article, Performance Analysis for Arm vs x86 CPUs in the Cloud, by Dr. Michael Yuan, presents some performance numbers between the two architectures. The tests were done in Virtual Instances and show that Arm-based devices are head-to-head with their x86 counterparts.

The mobile market, where smartphones, smart TVs and other such devices are included, also contributed to the architecture success, with Arm-based CPUs being the undisputed leaders. Today, you are very likely to read this blog post on a smartphone or tablet or a laptop like the PineBook or the MacBook, powered by an Arm-based unit.

It seems that, in the consumer space, ARM architecture has been gaining a lot of traction for the last few years. But what about the server space?

As stated in the first paragraph, we are big fans of the architecture. We provide, with the help of our superb sponsors, Arm-based VMs for the FOSS community.

If you haven't visited our sponsors, go check out their commercial offering.

We are not, however, the only player in town. AWS has an offering for Arm-based instances. Recently, Oracle partnered with our sponsor, Ampere Computing, to provide Arm-based services in their cloud, based on the Ampere Altra processor.

We couldn't be happier to see the architecture gain traction. This is reflected in our increasing number of applications for AArch64. A lot of FOSS projects are reaching out to us so that they can do their development in Arm-based platforms. Due to the limited number of resources, we are only approving open-source projects making a significant contribution to the community and everyone who uses FOSS software.

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