x86 running on ARM!

Today marked an important milestone in our product testing and development for our Viridis platform here at Boston. We can now officially confirm that we have run x86 binaries our on ARM based Viridis platform!

Over the last few weeks, we have been working with a group of engineers, from Eltechs, who are developing software to run x86 programs on ARM-based servers. This software could help lower one of the largest barriers to ARM SoC adoption as alternatives to Intel x86 processors in the datacentre.

Eltechs has developed a binary translator that acts as an emulator. The software currently delivers on average around 45% of native ARM performance. During our tests on the Viridis platform we observed up to 65% of native performance (6 tests were run covering a range of tests – details cannot be published at this time). We will be working with Eltechs on our Viridis platform, who believes it could reach 80% native ARM performance or greater in the future.

Of all the ARM products tested by Eltechs, we were delighted to hear our platform was received well:

The Boston server has been the fastest platform we have tested to date, Vadim Gimpelson, CEO of Eltech

We will continue to work with Eltechs in testing and validating our platform and hope to see further improvements as the software matures. In addition to our successful initial tests, we will be adding this software to the Boston ARM Wrestle program so if anyone has a particular code or application that hasn’t been ported to ARM, please get in touch with us at hpc@boston.co.uk to discuss benchmarking on our test cluster.