Open-source hardware, much of it produced by new players in the computing market, is likely to become the main beneficiary of the the massive spend on cloud-computing infrastructure rather than the established enterprise-computing suppliers, LSI fellow Rob Ober told delegates the International Electronics Forum in Bratislava today.
Ober claimed the rise of internet-enabled devices is leading to rapid growth in server hardware and a change in how it’s designed: “For every 120 tablets sold, you need one more server in the cloud. Apple’s iPhone 5 launch generated a need for 10,000 servers in the cloud.
“We see seeing a migration from compute-intensive to dataflow intensive applications. What is now prevalent is bringing in data, streaming through it and doing real-time analytics. There is an increased focus on storage and networking rather than compute.”
In tandem with these trends is a move away from proprietary designs, Ober said: “Open-source hardware platforms are emerging. This is the first time I’ve seen open-source hardware looking viable.”
Ober said the two main open-source platforms being considered by enterprises and cloud-computing providers are the Facebook-sponsored OpenCompute and the Scorpio Project, which started in the Far East with Baidu and Tencent.
“Those two platforms are beginning to merge. Through this, we will have a very viable open-source platform in two years. That is going to fundamentally change the industry.”