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Inspur joins Arm gang with 2U box running Ampere silicon

Arm ecosystem elbowing its way into third largest server vendor in the world

China-based server maker Inspur has joined the Arm server ecosystem, unveiling a rackmount system using Arm-based chips.

It said it has achieved Arm SystemReady SR certification, a compliance scheme run by the chip designer and based on a set of hardware and firmware standards that are designed to give buyers confidence that operating systems and applications will work on Arm-based systems.

Inspur may not be a familiar name to many, but the company is a big supplier to the hyperscale and cloud companies, and was listed by IDC as the third largest server vendor in the world by market share as recently as last year.

Inspur also announced the NF5280R6, its first product with Arm-based Ampere Altra and Altra Max processors. The Altra has 80 cores and runs at speeds up to 3.3GHz, while the Altra Max boasts 128 cores and runs at up to 3GHz.

According to Inspur, the NF5280R6 has been designed as a high-end dual-socket server aimed at a variety of workloads, but especially software container services running in cloud environments and big data analytics processing.

The system ships in a 2U rackmount chassis that has space for a dozen hot-swap 3.5 or 2.5in drives at the front, with a further four 2.5in drives at the rear, plus an onboard NVMe M.2 drive. The system board can fit up to 32 DIMMs and up to eight PCIe slots, plus there is an OCP 3.0 slot [PDF], a compact slot for a network interface card specified by the Open Compute Project.

Inspur claimed that the system can improve rack density by more than 36 percent while lowering the power consumption by more than 41 percent in comparison with equivalent x86 platforms.

The company said that it had delivered an Arm-based server to meet anticipated customer demand for such systems. "As the Arm architecture grew in the server space, we noticed that our customers focused more on the portability of platforms and the convenience of Arm-based cloud-native applications, which is exactly what the Arm SystemReady program provides our customers," said Ricky Zhao, deputy general manager of Inspur's Server Product Line.

"NF5280R6, the SystemReady SR-certified cloud-native dual-socket server, handles diversified customer needs, and provides computing power support for a more extensive customer base. In the future, Inspur Information will continue to bring more Arm-based values and innovations complying with industrial standards to our customers and developers," Zhao added.

Earlier this year, research company TrendForce predicted that the growing adoption of Arm-based systems by cloud service providers would see the Arm architecture account for 22 percent of datacenter servers by 2025. ®

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