Alibaba, Microsoft launch Arm-based cloud instances

While the on-premises server business remains firmly in the grip of the x86 world, cloud service providers are giving Arm-based servers a much more welcoming embrace. Both Chinese cloud giant Alibaba and Microsoft Azure have recently launched new instances with Arm processors.

Alibaba Cloud unveiled its Yitian 710 processor design for use in its data centers back in October 2021. The company also announced the development of its proprietary servers, called Panjiu, promising optimized computing performance and energy efficiency.

Yitian 710 is built on a 5nm manufacturing process and has 128 Arm cores, each with a top clock speed of 3.2GHz. It’s built on the Armv9 architecture and includes eight DDR5 memory channels per CPU and 96-lane PCIe 5.0. Alibaba claims the Yitian 710 achieved a SPECint2017 that beat the current state-of-the-art Arm server processor by 20% in performance and 50% in energy efficiency.

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