Google announces ARM-based CPU for its datacenters

Google announces ARM-based CPU for its datacenters

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By Peter Clarke

Google has announced it has developed its first custom ARM-based processors for the data center called Axion.

Google claimed that Axion, which is based on Neoverse V2 processors cores, outperforms both other Arm- and x86-based processors and said it will be made available to Google Cloud customers later in 2024.

The company did not provide details of how many Neoverse cores are implemented in individual processors or whether Axion exploits chiplet-style packaging. Nor did Google indicated what process technology Axion exploits.

However, the company said Axion processors will deliver up to 30 percent better performance than the general-purpose Arm-based instances available in the cloud today, up to 50 percent better performance and up to 60 percent better energy-efficiency than comparable current-generation x86-based processors.

Axion is also based on tiered layers of microcontrollers for offloading tasks. This architecture is called Titanium. Titanium comprises the Titan security microcontrollers to provide a hardware root-of-trust for Google Cloud, Titanium offload processors (TOPs) and Titanium adaptor cards. Titanium also offloads storage I/O processing to a virtual block storage system called HyperDisk.

“Google’s announcement of the new Axion CPU marks a significant milestone in delivering custom silicon that is optimized for Google’s infrastructure, and built on our high-performance Arm Neoverse V2 platform,” said Rene Haas, CEO of Arm, in a statement issued by Google.

Google already runs services, including the YouTube Ads platform, on Arm-based servers and said it expects to deploy and scale these services to Axion soon.

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