Debugging firmware on 64-bit ARM-based X-Gene servers

You don’t have to look at an electricity bill for a large enterprise or cloud-oriented data center to know that low-power 64-bit ARM-based server blades are garnering a lot of attention from IT executives. The chance to lower utility bills is just one of several drivers behind the move toward ARM servers. Another is the fact that a lower-costing CPU leaves more to be invested in larger memory and storage space.

3bd1c601-929a-4bcb-9688-3f307911213a_142_93The signs are pointing upward for the ARM-based server marketplace. In fact, one of the early suppliers of ARM-based server chips, AMD, expects that ARM servers will capture more than 25 percent of the market by 2019.

We got an up-close and personal look at this emerging market recently when we worked with SoftIron Ltd of Southampton, UK, to debug and bring up its 64-0800 server motherboard so it could get into this emerging marketplace sooner rather than later. The 64-0800 is based on AppliedMicro’s X-Gene® Server on a Chip™ SoC which incorporates multiple 64-bit ARMv8 cores.

According to SoftIron’s Vice President for Hardware Gary Preston, the firm’s development team opted for our SourcePoint™ debugger because they wanted to get their design to market ahead of the competitors and only SourcePoint gave them the visibility into code execution they needed to debug the system’s firmware in record time.

For the full news release on our collaboration with SoftIron on the X-Gene-based 64-0800, click here.