ARM’s built its business around power-efficient chips that are perfect for mobile applications (like tablets and smartphones), but that pedigree could transfer over to another technical arena as well, one that has traditionally been dominated by Intel and AMD: high-powered computing. In fact, Sumit Gupta, who serves as the senior manager of Nvidia’s Tesla GPU Computing HPC business, says that ARM chips are “inherently much more energy efficient than an x86 CPU” – and that fact makes Nvidia feel that the future of supercomputing lies in ARM.
Gupta points out some interesting things to consider. Intel and the x86 architecture arose from computers plugged into sockets, so power wasn’t a major consideration until recently – improving performance in Windows (and other OSes) was. “It’s a terrific processor for everyday computing,” Gupta says. “Not the right device as we go to high performance computing,” which involves less random inputs and much more power consumption. ARM’s power-efficient CPUs, apparently, are the right devices, at least in Nvidia’s eyes – especially when they’re supplemented by Nvidia CUDA GPUs (like the Barcelona Supercomputing Center), of course.