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AWS to fuel Arm to ‘22% server penetration rate’ by 2025 • The Register

The increasing adoption of Arm-compatible processors by cloud service providers is expected to grow the CPU architecture’s penetration rate in datacenter servers to 22 percent by 2025, according to a report by Taiwan-based research firm TrendForce.

The report, released Tuesday, pointed to Amazon Web Services’ growing footprint of Arm-based cloud instances as a major catalyst for growth of the British chip designer’s CPU blueprints in servers, and said it’s forcing competing cloud providers to play catch-up with their own in-house chip designs. There’s no mention in the report of how Nvidia’s failure to acquire Arm, which fell through last month, and Arm’s subsequent plan to re-enter the public market could impact server adoption.

Anyhow, these homegrown Arm-compatible chip projects are giving cloud providers more flexibility as they face greater demand in areas like artificial intelligence and high-performance computing. This is one big reason why TrendForce believes Arm adoption in the datacenter will continue to grow.

“If testing is successful, these projects are expected to start mass introduction in 2025,” the report said.

TrendForce said AWS’s roll out of Arm processors reached 15 percent of its overall server deployments in 2021, and is forecasted to surpass 20 percent this year. Whether that share is completely made up of AWS’ homegrown, Arm-based Graviton chips was unclear, but the research firm said that’s not the only factor impacting Arm’s growth in the datacenter market.

The research firm said geopolitical concerns and the increasing need for countries to keep data within their borders are also working in Arm’s favor, driving the development of Arm-based “micro datacenters” by telecommunications firms and cloud providers. Arm’s Neoverse server CPU designs are well-suited for edge computing environments like this, as well as “ultra-large-scale datacenters” that are stood up by cloud providers, according to TrendForce.

However, the firm added, with these two focus areas and the x86 architecture of Intel and AMD still dominating the larger datacenter market, the introduction of Arm CPUs into enterprise datacenters is expected to move at a slower pace. For this reason, TrendForce said it doesn’t expect competitive Arm-based servers in the enterprise market until 2025.

Helping hand from AWS

AWS first introduced cloud instances running on its Graviton chips in 2018. It claims it’s a more efficient alternative to x86-based cloud instances that are dominated by Intel but increasingly powered by AMD.

Originating from AWS’ 2015 acquisition of Israeli chip startup Annapurna Labs, the latest generation of its homegrown Arm processors, Graviton3, entered preview mode last December, promising 20-80 percent higher performance and 35 percent less latency than Graviton2 chips in EC2 instances.

But Graviton isn’t the only type of Arm-based CPUs used by AWS. The cloud provider recently started previewing a new EC2 instance for virtualized Macs powered by Apple’s M1 CPU. However, these instances likely haven’t made that big of a dent in AWS’ datacenter footprint, given how new they are.

TrendForce didn’t say which of AWS’ competitors are playing catch-up in the homegrown chip design department, but we do know that, as of December 2020, Microsoft was reportedly designing its own Arm-based chips for Azure datacenters and Surface PCs.

More definitively, Google said last year it was broadening its custom chip efforts beyond the homegrown Tensor Processing Unit to work on server chips, although we don’t know if Google plans to use Arm’s instruction set architecture.

Last fall, it was reported that Chinese retail and cloud giant Alibaba introduced its own Arm server processor. This will support China’s desire to own more of the supply chain for high-performance datacenters, as our sister site The Next Platform has discussed. Chinese tech giant Huawei is developing Arm-based server chips too, as we pointed out back in 2019.

Alibaba is also part of a handful of cloud provider that have turned to Arm-based CPUs designed by other companies. In this case, we’re talking about chip startup Ampere Computing, whose Altra CPUs have also been picked up by Oracle and Equinix in the US. Ampere’s chips have also been adopted by Tencent Cloud, JD Cloud and UCloud in China.

It’s important to point out that there isn’t complete agreement on how big Arm could get in servers in the next few years. For instance, research firm Omdia said last August that it expects Arm to account for just 14 percent of servers by 2025.  

The TrendForce report does not mention RISC-V, an alternative, open-source chip instruction-set architecture that competes with Arm. But that makes sense, given that SiFive, the largest RISC-V chip designer, recently told The Register that it doesn’t plan to see RISC-V server chips in market for at least a few more years. Another RISC-V chip designer, Ventana Micro Systems, is also planning to make server chips in the coming years. ®

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European Startup Ecosystems Awash With Gulf Investment – Here Are Some Of The Top Investors

European Startup Ecosystem Getting Flooded With Gulf Investments

The Voice Of EU | In recent years, European entrepreneurs seeking capital infusion have widened their horizons beyond the traditional American investors, increasingly turning their gaze towards the lucrative investment landscape of the Gulf region. With substantial capital reservoirs nestled within sovereign wealth funds and corporate venture capital entities, Gulf nations have emerged as compelling investors for European startups and scaleups.

According to comprehensive data from Dealroom, the influx of investment from Gulf countries into European startups soared to a staggering $3 billion in 2023, marking a remarkable 5x surge from the $627 million recorded in 2018.

This substantial injection of capital, accounting for approximately 5% of the total funding raised in the region, underscores the growing prominence of Gulf investors in European markets.

Particularly noteworthy is the significant support extended to growth-stage companies, with over two-thirds of Gulf investments in 2023 being directed towards funding rounds exceeding $100 million. This influx of capital provides a welcome boost to European companies grappling with the challenge of securing well-capitalized investors locally.

Delving deeper into the landscape, Sifted has identified the most active Gulf investors in European startups over the past two years.

Leading the pack is Aramco Ventures, headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Bolstered by a substantial commitment, Aramco Ventures boasts a $1.5 billion sustainability fund, alongside an additional $4 billion allocated to its venture capital arm, positioning it as a formidable player with a total investment capacity of $7 billion by 2027. With a notable presence in 17 funding rounds, Aramco Ventures has strategically invested in ventures such as Carbon Clean Solutions and ANYbotics, aligning with its focus on businesses that offer strategic value.

Following closely is Mubadala Capital, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE, with an impressive tally of 13 investments in European startups over the past two years. Backed by the sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Company, Mubadala Capital’s diverse investment portfolio spans private equity, venture capital, and alternative solutions. Notable investments include Klarna, TIER, and Juni, reflecting its global investment strategy across various sectors.

Ventura Capital, based in Dubai, UAE, secured its position as a key player with nine investments in European startups. With a presence in Dubai, London, and Tokyo, Ventura Capital boasts an international network of limited partners and a sector-agnostic investment approach, contributing to its noteworthy investments in companies such as Coursera and Spotify.

Qatar Investment Authority, headquartered in Doha, Qatar, has made significant inroads into the European startup ecosystem with six notable investments. As the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar, QIA’s diversified portfolio spans private and public equity, infrastructure, and real estate, with strategic investments in tech startups across healthcare, consumer, and industrial sectors.

MetaVision Dubai, a newcomer to the scene, has swiftly garnered attention with six investments in European startups. Focusing on seed to Series A startups in the metaverse and Web3 space, MetaVision raised an undisclosed fund in 2022, affirming its commitment to emerging technologies and innovative ventures.

Investcorp, headquartered in Manama, Bahrain, has solidified its presence with six investments in European startups. With a focus on mid-sized B2B businesses, Investcorp’s diverse investment strategies encompass private equity, real estate, infrastructure, and credit management, contributing to its notable investments in companies such as Terra Quantum and TruKKer.

Chimera Capital, based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, rounds off the list with four strategic investments in European startups. As part of a prominent business conglomerate, Chimera Capital leverages its global reach and sector-agnostic approach to drive investments in ventures such as CMR Surgical and Neat Burger.

In conclusion, the burgeoning influx of capital from Gulf investors into European startups underscores the region’s growing appeal as a vibrant hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. With key players such as Aramco Ventures, Mubadala Capital, and Ventura Capital leading the charge, European startups are poised to benefit from the strategic investments and partnerships forged with Gulf investors, propelling them towards sustained growth and success in the global market landscape.


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China Reveals Lunar Mission: Sending ‘Taikonauts’ To The Moon From 2030 Onwards

China Reveals Lunar Mission

The Voice Of EU | In a bold stride towards lunar exploration, the Chinese Space Agency has unveiled its ambitious plans for a moon landing set to unfold in the 2030s. While exact timelines remain uncertain, this endeavor signals a potential resurgence of the historic space race reminiscent of the 1960s rivalry between the United States and the USSR.

China’s recent strides in lunar exploration include the deployment of three devices on the moon’s surface, coupled with the successful launch of the Queqiao-2 satellite. This satellite serves as a crucial communication link, bolstering connectivity between Earth and forthcoming missions to the moon’s far side and south pole.

Unlike the secretive approach of the Soviet Union in the past, China’s strategy leans towards transparency, albeit with a hint of mystery surrounding the finer details. Recent revelations showcase the naming and models of lunar spacecraft, steeped in cultural significance. The Mengzhou, translating to “dream ship,” will ferry three astronauts to and from the moon, while the Lanyue, meaning “embrace the moon,” will descend to the lunar surface.

Drawing inspiration from both Russian and American precedents, China’s lunar endeavor presents a novel approach. Unlike its predecessors, China will employ separate launches for the manned module and lunar lander due to the absence of colossal space shuttles. This modular approach bears semblance to SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, reflecting a contemporary adaptation of past achievements.

Upon reaching lunar orbit, astronauts, known as “taikonauts” in Chinese, will rendezvous with the lunar lander, reminiscent of the Apollo program’s maneuvers. However, distinct engineering choices mark China’s departure from traditional lunar landing methods.

The Chinese lunar lander, while reminiscent of the Apollo Lunar Module, introduces novel features such as a single set of engines and potential reusability and advance technology. Unlike past missions where lunar modules were discarded, China’s design hints at the possibility of refueling and reuse, opening avenues for sustained lunar exploration.

China Reveals Lunar Mission: Sending 'Taikonauts' To The Moon From 2030 Onwards
A re-creation of the two Chinese spacecraft that will put ‘taikonauts’ on the moon.CSM

Despite these advancements, experts have flagged potential weaknesses, particularly regarding engine protection during landing. Nevertheless, China’s lunar aspirations remain steadfast, with plans for extensive testing and site selection underway.

Beyond planting flags and collecting rocks, China envisions establishing a permanent lunar base, the International Lunar Research Station (ILRS), ushering in a new era of international collaboration in space exploration.

While the Artemis agreements spearheaded by NASA have garnered global support, China’s lunar ambitions stand as a formidable contender in shaping the future of space exploration. In conclusion, China’s unveiling of its lunar ambitions not only marks a significant milestone in space exploration but also sets the stage for a new chapter in the ongoing saga of humanity’s quest for the cosmos. As nations vie for supremacy in space, collaboration and innovation emerge as the cornerstones of future lunar endeavors.


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Aviation and Telecom Industries Reach Compromise on 5G Deployment

The Voice Of EU | In a significant development, AT&T and Verizon, the two largest mobile network operators in the United States, have agreed to delay the deployment of 5G services following requests from the aviation industry and the Biden administration. This decision marks a crucial compromise in the long-standing dispute between the two industries, which had raised concerns over the potential interference of 5G with flight signals.
The aviation industry, led by United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby, had been vocal about the risks of 5G deployment, citing concerns over the safety of flight operations. Kirby had urged AT&T and Verizon to delay their plans, warning that proceeding with the deployment would be a “catastrophic failure of government.” The US Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the issue further highlighted the need for a solution.
In response, US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) head Steve Dickson sent a letter to the mobile networks, requesting a two-week delay to reassess the potential risks. Initially, AT&T and Verizon were hesitant, citing the aviation industry’s two-year preparation window. However, they eventually agreed to the short delay, pushing the deployment to January 19.
The crux of the issue lies in the potential interference between 5G signals and flight equipment, particularly radar altimeters. The C-Band spectrum used by 5G networks is close to the frequencies employed by these critical safety devices. The FAA requires accurate and reliable radar altimeters to ensure safe flight operations.

Airlines in the US have been at loggerheads with mobile networks over the deployment of 5G and its potential impact on flight safety.

Despite the concerns, both the FAA and the telecoms industry agree that 5G mobile networks and airline travel can coexist safely. In fact, they already do in nearly 40 countries where US airlines operate regularly. The key lies in reducing power levels around airports and fostering cross-industry collaboration prior to deployment.
The FAA has been working to find a solution in the United States, and the additional two-week delay will allow for further assessment and preparation. AT&T and Verizon have also agreed to not operate 5G base stations along runways for six months, similar to restrictions imposed in France.
President Joe Biden hailed the decision to delay as “a significant step in the right direction.” The European Union Aviation Safety Agency and South Korea have also reported no unsafe interference with radio waves since the deployment of 5G in their regions.
As the aviation and telecom industries continue to work together, it is clear that safe coexistence is possible. The delay in 5G deployment is a crucial step towards finding a solution that prioritizes both safety and innovation. With ongoing collaboration and technical assessments, the United States can join the growing list of countries where 5G and airlines coexist without issue.

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