ARM finally defines a platform as it sets its sights on the server room

The dotted line shows which parts SBSA standardizes to create an ARM platform.

In an attempt to strengthen the entry of ARM processors into the server market, British chip designer ARM has put together the Server Base System Architecture (SBSA), a definition of a standard platform for ARM-based servers. This move should reduce the abundant variation and complexity that has hitherto been a feature of ARM systems. SBSA was assembled by ARM along with its partners, including HP, Dell, AMD, Citrix, and Microsoft.

Even as ARM processors have proliferated in smartphones and tablets, and are starting to make their first tentative steps into the server room, ARM has not been a platform in the way that the x86 PC is a platform.

Way back in the early 1980s, the IBM PC defined the way the computer booted, initialized its hardware, laid out its memory, and provided access to standard features like graphics and the keyboard. This enabled an ecosystem of PC software to develop. The PC platform was cloned by Compaq and others, and these clones were functionally equivalent to IBM machines. Operating system software that worked on one clone would work on any other, and it would work on the PC itself.

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via Ars Technica


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