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Arm TechCon 2019: Chris Bergey Q&A

Arm Blueprint talks to Arm's new SVP Infrastructure about the road ahead for Arm Neoverse
By Arm Editorial Team
Chris Bergey

One year since launch, Arm Neoverse is proving to be a magnetic cloud-to-edge compute platform – with processors shipping, customer designs underway and partnerships expanding. It’s adding new possibilities in the infrastructure market as global networks change to cope with the data deluge coming from digital transformation.

As with most things though, the success of Neoverse is not down to one element, nor is it the overnight success that a single year of big headlines might suggest. It’s the result of timing, technology and prolonged and effective teamwork – from inside Arm and from our ecosystem partners. It’s a key reason that drew Chris Bergey, to Arm. Chris, the new senior vice president of Arm’s Infrastructure business, was introduced on the Arm TechCon 2019 stage yesterday by his predecessor, Drew Henry. Drew’s staying close to the team but he’s also broadening his role across all of Arm’s IP businesses to ensure we’re doing the right things to make all Fifth Wave of Computing possibilities real.

We sat down to talk to Chris about with his new role and what he thinks the next few years have in store.

Chris, why Arm and why now?

In my twenty-plus year career in semiconductors, this is without doubt one of the most exciting moments I’ve seen. We’re moving toward a new era of purpose-built compute and acceleration in the data center, an explosion of data from artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled Internet of things (IoT) endpoint devices, and the distribution of cloud computing towards the edge of the network.

For me, Arm is truly the company to be working for during this transformation. It’s at the epicenter of the new world, and perfectly positioned with its huge partner ecosystem to drive positive disruption and near unlimited new possibilities going forward.

Why do you think Arm Neoverse has taken off so quickly?

Data center and system architects know what they want, but the size and scale of what they must achieve requires them to think differently. The Arm Neoverse platform is the perfect solution as it provides an architectural pillar allowing them to push forward in any future direction. It delivers security, cost- and power-efficiency benefits and has robust support from diverse partners that will deliver a competitive market.

There’s no doubt that full transformation of the world’s data infrastructure will take time, but we already see strong progress that can only accelerate as demand for a new network approach intensifies.

What’s your 100-day plan?

Don’t expect a drastic change in direction as the team is on the right path with a compelling product roadmap backed up by a strong network of technology partners. My focus is simply on how we speed up the flywheel to create the ecosystem of solutions that further catalyze the transformation of data in the core datacenter and at the edge.

What other technologies do you think Arm needs to bring to the infrastructure market?

Just this week, Arm announced Project Cassini. Cassini is an effort to simplify the software challenges of an AI-enabled edge, extend efforts in standardizing security with Platform Security Architecture (PSA) for infrastructure, and add artificial intelligence (AI) enhancements for future Arm Neoverse cores.

Arm has already laid out a thoughtful framework for the future of edge compute and its associated security needs, providing the glue between a diverse hardware ecosystem and common software interfaces. The framework is supported by a network of world-class partners offering complementary capabilities and technologies.

The next step is to build on that to create a seamless platform from cloud to edge and endpoint. We’re in the first innings now but, trust me, there’s plenty more to come and it will happen faster than you might think.

What are the big challenges you expect in your new role?

There are certainly challenges, but I will flip your question around to talk about opportunities instead, as that’s how I see it. The biggest opportunity is summed up in one word – growth. We are doing the same future-gazing that others are as it’s obvious we’re on the cusp of a major industry inflection point. The questions being asked are: Which bets do we place? How do we support the breadth of opportunities? How do we bring together all of the different pieces to accelerate change?

The difference in Arm’s approach compared to others is that the answers won’t just come from ourselves. We have an incredibly strong and growing network of partners that will give us unrivalled industry-wide scale and insight. It’s precisely this that will allow us to succeed.

We also have compelling technical solutions, and the key infrastructure players want us to win. For me, the opportunity is ours to lose, and that’s not something I intend to let happen.

Find out more about how Arm Neoverse E1 and Arm Neoverse N1 processors deliver world-class performance, security, and scalability for next-generation infrastructure.

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Brian Fuller and Jack Melling
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