Oracle Corp launched a cloud computing service powered by data center chips from Ampere Computing based on technology from Arm Ltd, the second major cloud company to offer an Arm-based service after Amazon.com’s Amazon Web Services.
Cloud providers are some of the biggest buyers of chips. This is because they rent out the computing power they generate to thousands of other companies. Until recently, however, almost all the chips cloud services bought came from Intel Corp and Advanced Micro Devices, as most business software is written to run on those processors. This began to change in 2018. Because Amazon, the largest cloud provider, announced a service using its own custom chip, which is with intellectual property from Arm. The British firm whose technology already underlies most smartphone chips and is steadily making its way into laptops and data centers to challenge Intel and AMD.
Oracle joined the fray with chips from Ampere Computing. This company was founded by former Intel President Renee James, who also sits on the board of Oracle. Oracle said that it would rent out the chips at 1 cent per computing core per hour. This is less than half of what it said were its rival’s comparable rates. Clay Magouyrk, executive vice president of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure said in an interview that they are at an inflection point in the industry. Now that there’s a very competitive Arm product, he is viewing his job as a way to offer his customers value and choice.
To expand the amount of business software that runs on Arm chips, Oracle has announced a wide range of initiatives. This move can also help its rivals. Magouyrk said that Microsoft Corp and Alphabet Inc’s Google do not yet offer Arm-based cloud services to the public, but he expects that they will and that all cloud customers will eventually benefit from the competition. He also said that they will be ahead of them in that regard, but he also thinks that they will have Arm offerings and they will definitely be highly competitive. He views this is a multi-year process where Arm becomes ubiquitous on the server.