Qualcomm aims to build server chips that power the data center

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Qualcomm is moving beyond mobile chips and will target the data center market with new server chips based on ARM technology, according to Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf. Mollenkopf detailed the mobile chip-maker’s plans during its annual analyst day meeting in New York City, reported Barron’s.

With big tech companies like [company]Google[/company] and [company]Facebook[/company] building their own servers to suit their own individual data center needs, chip manufacturers like Intel are busy rolling out chips with a greater degree of customization than in the past to power up the commodity gear. [company]Intel[/company] recently said it developed a special Haswell processor that’s tailored to handle [company]Amazon[/company]’s new compute-optimized EC2 instance; in July, Intel detailed a new chip custom made for [company]Oracle[/company]’s new Exadata Database Machine X4-8.

Now Qualcomm wants a piece of that action: Mollenkopf explained that the data center market is poised to reach $15 billion in 2020. Qualcomm sees big opportunities with the internet of things and views it as the next logical step from the mobile era in that wearable technology and all those connected gadgets will be gathering enormous quantities of data that need to collect in a data center.

From a business perspective, it seems possible that Qualcomm would want to capitalize on its relationship with Google and help the company build out server chips in addition to mobile chips; Mollenkopf said that Qualcomm has supposedly shipped over 1 billion chips for Android devices so far.

In October, Qualcomm plunked down $2.5 billion for the chip-design firm CSR, a specialist in Bluetooth technology. As my colleague Stacey Higginbotham reported, both Broadcom and Qualcomm have noted that Bluetooth and Wi-Fi will be the standard technology that enables the internet of things.

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