ARM enters the supercomputer race

The media are reporting this Monday morning that ARM is entering the supercomputer race, and that it will announce a new chip later today.

ARM's newsroom site says nothing about it – yet. However, according to PC World, ARM's first supercomputer chip will find its way into a machine based in Japan. The Post-K computer, to be developed by Fujitsu, and should be 50 – 100 times faster than its predecessor, the K Computer.

At peak performance, the K Computer delivers 10.5 petaflops (one quadrillion floating point operations per second (FLOPS). PC World says the new processor will be based on the 64-bit ARM-v8A architecture. It will have vector processing extensions called Scalabe Vector Extension.

ARM has made a name for itself creating mobile chips, and with its products being featured in Apple's iPhone, it is a pretty powerful company. However, it was acquired by Japanese company Softbank, for $32 billion (£24.5bn). With this cash, ARM will be looking to strengthen its position in both servers and IoT (internet of things) industries.

What we should expect in the near(er) future is for these supercomputers to reach one exaflop. All hotshots (Intel, Nvidia, IBM), have been pushing to reach that goal some time now. Some media are also saying that ARM's chips could be a more power-efficient alternative, knowing that large-scale supercomputers draw megawatts of power.