Applied Micro Circuits Corp. (AppliedMicro) is a leading innovator in semiconductors and a global leader in energy efficient sustainable solutions to process, transport, and store information for next-gen Internet data centre and telecom carrier central office (CO) equipment. As a leader in high-speed digital signal, Internet Protocol, Ethernet packet and storage processing, its patented innovations provide highly integrated systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) for telecom, enterprise and consumer applications.
In an exclusive with Pradeep Chakraborty, Anil Gupta, managing director, AppliedMicro India, talks about the company’s legacy and how it has carved a niche for itself. Excerpts:
JULY 2012: Q. Please give us a brief on AppliedMicro’s legacy, leadership and market presence.
A. Founded in 1979, AppliedMicro is a fabless semiconductor company with a strong legacy in energy-efficient SoC solutions for data centres and telecom carrier central offices. We provide embedded processing and computing solutions that are an ideal balance for conserving energy and lowering costs while maintaining high performance. Our embedded processing solutions deliver a balance of control plane and packet processing for I/0 control, storage networking and security. For example, our embedded processor that delivers very high data rates is the industry’s number one preferred solution for wireless access points.
Our leading edge low power, mixed-signal IP is integrated into the SoCs to provide value added solutions for telecom and datacom markets. For example, AppliedMicro’s 10 Gigabit per second framer-mapper-physical layer devices are designed into multi-service switches, routers and dense wavelength division multiplex (DWDM) equipment in long-haul, core and metropolitan networks. Systems equipped with AppliedMicro’s solutions enable telcos to deploy higher data rate of 10/40/100 Gig broadband connections, high reliability, low error rates, low latency and high quality of service.
The world today is increasingly going mobile as an expanding base of both consumer and enterprise users connect from an increasing number of devices. Remotely accessing localised files is no longer an acceptable solution and next-generation data centres are being tasked with supporting the migration to the cloud.
This migration is driven by the emphasis shifting from pure compute to data access, moving from heavy computational workloads to millions of relatively smaller workloads. This new workload has created an inflection where large organisations are moving from clamoring only for high performance CPUs to needing chips that give optimum performance and energy consumption, thereby reducing the overall operating costs significantly. Thus the emphasis is shifting from ‘performance at any cost’ to ‘reducing the total cost of ownership (TCO).
Taking advantage of this inflection, AppliedMicro launched X-Gene in October 2011, the world’s first 64-bit ARM architecture based ‘Server-on-a-Chip’ solution in a single footprint, designed to deliver disruptive performance levels at low power and cost points. In doing so, we are heavily leveraging our 30 years of experience in delivering state-of-the-art datacom and telecom solutions to the marketplace. In April 2012, we announced the world’s first web server implementation running on the 64-bit ARM based X-Gene platform.
The level of server integration done with X-Gene has never been done before. Today, it takes two to three chips to power a server. With the X-Gene technology we are completely changing how servers are designed. We are looking at disrupting the current notions on server power, CPU performance and integration keeping TCO in mind.
Q. What makes AppliedMicro the leading provider of energy-efficient silicon solutions for next-gen data centres and Internet infrastructure?
A. The SoC solutions from AppliedMicro are designed to operate at low power to minimise demand on limited power supplies, offset the need for cooling resources, and increase the energy efficiency of the systems they are designed into, all without sacrificing performance. Low-power chips help solve critical design challenges for the developers who design leading-edge transport, datacentre, enterprise, and consumer systems by lowering overall system cost. They also help reduce the carbon footprint of the deployed solutions that keep us all connected and contribute to ENERGY STAR compliance and other green initiatives.
Energy efficiency is all about doing the required minimum to simply get the job done. Anything over and above this is wasted effort and wasted energy. Our existing SoC solutions are very carefully architected with this fundamental goal in mind. We work very closely with our customers and even their customers to understand the system level requirements and then develop the chips that go into those systems.
One of our recent key announcements is the launch of X-Gene, the world’s first 64-bit ARM processor based ‘Server-on-a-Chip’ solution in a single footprint, designed to deliver disruptive performance levels at low power and cost points. This Server-on-a-Chip addresses cloud computing needs at less than half the power and cost of existing solutions.