On December 16, 2016, ARM Ltd. announced their acquisition of Allinea Software Limited, furthering their push into the high performance computing (HPC) market.
ARM is a U.K.-based chipset licensor, backed by a Japanese company (SoftBank), that’s best known for designing power-efficient and low-cost chip designs for the embedded and mobile markets. They’ve been expanding their presence into the x86-dominated HPC space by bringing the ARMv8-A architecture to market, along with announcing that the chipset will power the Fujitsu Post K supercomputer and support the OpenHPC standard. With the Allinea acquisition, ARM hopes to bring more developers to its platform by offering its own toolset along with the architecture.
ARM’s addition of technology does open up new opportunities but it also presents a limitation for Allinea’s traditional business of offering customers tools that work on multiple architectures. With this acquisition, Rogue Wave Software is now the sole independent provider of dynamic analysis and debugging solutions for the HPC marketplace. Independence is important because many vendors want to use one tool that works on multiple platforms and includes the best functionality for all the platforms.
Will ARM keep investing in platforms outside their own? Most of the existing HPC supercomputers leverage other chipsets, such as x86 and OpenPOWER, and users want tools that keep advancing the technology of those platforms. Also consider, on which of the Allinea tools will ARM focus their investments? It very well could be their profiling tools because ARM may want better benchmarking for their chipset. This could leave their debugger technology falling behind as new advances come out.
We’re committed to maintaining all of our supported platforms, including ARM, to give users the most flexibility and best experience possible. In other words, our focused expertise on powerful debugging tools remains unmatched and unchanged.