After more than two decades with Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Darren Cepulis came to Arm in 2013, becoming part of the small cadre of people working in the chip designer’s high-performance computing (HPC) business. As Cepulis – now the datacenter architect and HPC segment manager for Arm – recalls, there were a couple of researchers, one or two software developers and himself. The company had made its bones for decades designing small, power-efficient CPUs for such devices as cell phones and tablets.
Around the time Cepulis came to Arm, the company had already begun the push to get its processor architecture into the datacenter and chip away at Intel’s long dominance in servers, hoping to take advantage of the growing importance among enterprises of energy efficiency in their datacenter systems, with many making it as high a priority as performance. The goal was to become the top alternative to Intel’s x86 Xeon processors, an initiative that has yet to become fully realized.
The company also saw an opportunity in HPC, where processors from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices were being joined by GPU accelerators from Nvidia and AMD. Things in HPC were changing and that opened up the space for Arm, though it had a long way to go, Cepulis says.