Server Architecture: Past, Present, and Future – Part 3

The Future

One challenge that chip makers have juggled is the power requirements for faster chips and the heat output associated with them. In some cases, cooling fans and heat sinks have become inefficient ways to keep chips cool, leading a few to invest in liquid cooling and other unconventional methods.

As the world becomes more conscious of the need for energy conservation and corporate social responsibility becomes more of a requirement rather than a suggestion, many businesses with servers are looking for ways to reduce energy output and costs. It is, therefore, no surprise that AMD and Intel are introducing chips that are designed to be “green” and reduce energy usage, while still giving applications their necessary power.

Companies like VIA see this as an opportunity to introduce their low-powered embedded chips into the server market. Dell, for example, is using VIA’s nano chips for their mini servers.

Another embedded chip manufacturer, ARM Holdings, plans to introduce server processors based on their Advanced RISC Machine (ARM) chips in the coming years. ARM has become well known for powering mobile phones and other small devices, but the company believes its processors can issue in a new era of low-powered, energy-efficient servers.

Without a doubt, Intel, AMD, and others will have to find ways to compete with this new trend of smaller, more energy-efficient processors. In that regard, the future remains uncertain. What is certain is that server processors will continue to get smaller and faster. There may come a time when a server is kept in the drawer of an office desk, which is a future many business owners and IT professionals will welcome.