I was with the family in Whole Food last night having everyone pick up their Valentine's day dessert. Anything you want. As I headed to the dessert area, I ran into an ARM expert I met 5 years ago who lives in the Seattle area.
One of the fun conversations we had 5 years ago 3 blocks from the Whole Food we were now standing in was how big the potential market is for ARM servers. We need 64 bit and we need more SW. Well 5 years later, 64 bit is around the corner and SW support is coming too. But, something else showed up over the last 5 years. Samsung. 25 years ago when I worked on display technologies for Apple, our monitors were made by Sony, Hitachi, Mitsubishi, and Samsung. I remember the Japanese guys saying how aggressive the Koreans were and how hard they work, just like Japan used to in the 70s. Working with Samsung was great back then. I tend to buy Samsung devices - TVs, Blu Ray, and Android Phones. I would buy a Samsung refrigerator if they had a look that my wife liked. And, wow what has Samsung achieved over the last 25 years.
My ARM friend and I usually run into each other at Intel Developer Forum which is funny given we live so close to each other, and him being an ARM guy we chat at IDF. Seeing my ARM friend/expert in Whole Food was convenient as I have been meaning to chat with him and Sept 2013 IDF was too far out in time. We reminisced about our discussions on ARM servers and we were right. He was right saying it would be big inside ARM and the support has come. The new thing we talked about is how big Samsung is going to be the ARM Server market.
When I was down at the Open Compute Summit I was able to catch up with a bunch of industry people and they confirmed Samsung has been hiring server guys, and the Samsung IO chips are being worked on. Take a look at the Samsung Galaxy phones, throw out the display, put some kick ass IO on it and you have an ARM server that will be tough to beat.
There will be a dozen companies with ARM servers over the next 2 years, and over time, within 5 years there will be 3-5 players dominating the market. Samsung will be one of the players. Intel will have some market. Who will be the others? Hard to guess 5 years out.