With ARM-based (ARMH +2.6%) CPUs currently having a minimal presence in the massive server CPU market, a report that Google is thinking of developing its own ARM-based server CPUs has gone over well with ARM investors.
In addition to Google, Facebook has shown an interest in ARM. A recent post from a Facebook developer suggests the company is working to port some of its internal software for use with ARM CPUs.
AppliedMicro (AMCC -4.6%), an early leader in the ARM server CPU space (courtesy of its X-Gene chips), wound up selling off after opening higher. There may be concerns Google will open-source its CPU designs to help foster a broader ecosystem for them, as it has done with many pieces of software. AMD, Marvell, and private Calxeda are also targeting the ARM server CPU market.
Intel (INTC -0.7%), whose server CPU division had a $1.39B Q3 op. profit on the back of 12% Y/Y rev. growth, finished down modestly. Google/Facebook would act as big reference wins for ARM, which still face major software ecosystem challenges as it tries to grow its server presence. Intel is trying to counter ARM with its low-power Avoton Atom server CPUs.