Aiming to recreate its smartphone success in servers and networking, Arm announced on Wednesday that it had hired Drew Henry, formerly of Nvidia and SanDisk, as its new senior vice president of infrastructure.
The fresh assistance comes as Arm continues to jimmy Intel's stronghold in data centers, which are used not only to make sense of data generated by smartphones and sensors, but also to control how billions of these devices connect to the internet.
Before Arm hired him, Henry was the chief technology officer of Acetti Software, a start-up aiming to accelerate cloud software by using multicore processors. For three years before that, he led SanDisk's automotive, Internet of Things, and smart home businesses, rubbing shoulders with customers like Google, Tesla, and Amazon.
Henry was previously in charge of Nvidia's GeForce business, selling graphics chips for desktops, virtual reality, and imaging. He left Nvidia at around the same time that researchers realized that Nvidia's GPUs were were better than traditional chips at sifting through heaps of data to recognize images and run other tricky programs in data centers.
For years, Arm has made little progress in servers and networking. But its first major victory came when Qualcomm and Cavium announced new server chips made with Arm's blueprints in March. Microsoft plans to experiment with them, in what many analysts viewed as a nail in the coffin for its relationship with Intel.
Along with Henry’s hiring, the firm also announced Wednesday a new partnership with Packet, a start-up that rents out cloud infrastructure for software development. The deal aims to introduce more programmers to server chips based on Arm’s blueprints, including those sold by Qualcomm and Cavium.
“I’m here to help build the infrastructure needed for the next 10 years of computing, an infrastructure I’m confident will be powered by Arm technology,” Henry wrote in a Wednesday blog post. Henry will report to Rene Haas, executive vice president of Arm’s intellectual property business.