Cloud computing companies consider abandoning Intel chips

After the Intel chip was exposed to major security vulnerabilities, some cloud enterprise users are considering abandoning Intel products and using products of other competing companies when building new facilities.

Encountered a loophole, Intel's fast-growing chip business may be hit hard. According to market research firm IDC, Intel chips are currently used in 98% of data center operations.

Security breach

Security experts have revealed that Intel chips have two serious vulnerabilities, Meltdown and Spectre, which can be used by hackers to steal passwords or keys from most models of computers, mobile phones and cloud servers.

Cloud computing companies consider abandoning Intel chips

Microsoft says patches that address these vulnerabilities can have a significant impact on server performance.

Intel said in a statement that it is committed to finding the best solution that balances security, performance and compatibility. "For many users, performance is the most important factor, and we are focusing on ensuring that our needs are met."


Intel's competitors include AMD. Like Intel, the chip architecture produced by this company is x86. Intel's competing products also include ARM chips and graphics processing chips (GPUs).

For online storage company Backblaze, using ARM chips to build data centers is not difficult.

Backblaze CEO Gleb Budman pointed out, "If the ARM chip can provide enough computing power at a price lower than x86, it is very tempting for us to use ARM chips. Updating solutions will lead to a significant decline in computing power and make ARM chips more attractive. "

Adam Stern, chairman of cloud computing provider Infinitely Virtual, said in an interview that he hopes Intel can replace equipment or provide financial compensation to make up for the loss of computing power.

Cloud computing companies consider abandoning Intel chips

Intel cloud Market will suffer

"If Intel does not take steps to remedy, its market share will suffer because we can not buy its products." His company uses processors from Intel.

Cloud vendors say that replacing previously installed Intel chips with other chips is too complicated, but other chips can be used when adding cloud facilities. Switching from Intel chips to AMD chips is the easiest option because both companies use the x86 instruction set.

In completing searches and other tasks, the ARM chip will slow down the Intel x86 chip originally used, and the software has to be rewritten.

Nvidia's graphics processing chips cannot directly replace Intel chips, but in new tasks such as image and speech recognition, the former is gradually replacing the latter.

Even before Intel was exposed to security risks, some major technology companies were already experimenting with alternatives to Intel chips.

Last March, Microsoft said it would use ARM processors in Azure cloud services. Last December, Microsoft Azure deployed AMD processors in the data center.

Cloud computing companies consider abandoning Intel chips

Competitors work hard to develop cloud computering chips

In 2016, Google stated that it was designing a server based on the IBM Power9 processor. Last September, Amazon AWS used AMD's image processing chip in an image design service.

Qualcomm and Cavium are developing ARM chips for data centers. Cavium said it is working on chips that will outperform Intel in tasks such as database or content delivery networks.

Cavium's vice president, Gopal Hegde, is working with Microsoft and "several other cloud vendors." Cavium and Qualcomm based on the ARM architecture are working together to reduce the amount of software that has to be rewritten for ARM chips.

Cloud networking company Cloudflare has been evaluating ARM chips. CTO John Graham Cumming pointed out that Intel's new security patches have not slowed down computing, but the company will re-evaluate Intel products.