Oracle reveals large investment in Intel competitor

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Oracle has announced 40 million U.S. dollars (36.72 million euros) to invest in a startup that wants to compete with Intel. The startup, Ampere Computing, develops processors for data centers and has former Intel president Renee James as CEO.

The investment represents a little under 20 percent of the company. In addition, there are other investors, such as the Carlyle Group and Arm, a division of the Japanese Softbank, writes ZDNet.

Ampere’s chips are based on the ARM microprocessor architecture that successfully competes with Intel in mobile and smartphone applications. However, the architecture does not yet exist in applications for data centers, from which Intel derives most profit.

Evaluation Board

Ampere wants to change this. The company offers a 19-inch chassis evaluation board with processors based on 64-bit ArmV8 cores, with custom network and storage offload engines and integrated Ethernet.

According to the company, the solution offers the same performance as, or even more performance than the private and public cloud, but at lower operating costs. Oracle has already tested the technology in-house, but does not say anything about the performance.

The biggest challenge for ARM in the data center is the lack of software development tools and engineering talent available for Intel architecture microprocessors. This makes the development of business applications for data centers more expensive.

Oracle

Oracle itself already has a large presence in almost every large data center, as it is a vendor with a large catalogue of products and services. The company has attracted most of the major enterprise software companies, including Sun Microsystems.

Oracle owns Sun’s Sparc microprocessor architecture, which is designed for data centers. However, ARM utilizes a larger library of chip capabilities that can be customized for higher computing efficiency.