Marvell Technology Group announced last week that it has decided to cancel its ThunderX3 Arm-based server processor for general-purpose server use in favor of vertical markets and the hyperscaler server market.\nMarvell was best known for making controllers for storage and networking devices before it bought Cavium, an Arm server developer, in 2018. The company announced the ThunderX3 in March and on paper it looked like a real monster, with 96 cores and four threads per core.\n\nOn a recent earnings call with financial analysts, CEO Matt Murphy said the company had always targeted hyperscale customers and is now acknowledging that by focusing on customizing its chips for them.\nOf the \u201cSuper 7\u201d hyperscalers \u2013 Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu \u2013 AWS and Microsoft have done their own custom Arm silicon for their cloud services. AWS has its home brew called Graviton while Microsoft has teamed with Marvell to use its ThunderX2 processor.\nRaghib Hussain, chief strategy officer for Marvell and founder of Cavium, doesn\u2019t believe the other five hyperscalers will follow Amazon\u2019s lead. \u201cNot everybody is as committed to do their own silicon themselves like AWS. Their silicon teams are not at scale as AWS and not only [do you need] the silicon team but you need a lot more investment in process node,\u201d he told me.\nHe said the general-purpose market wasn't an ideal fit for Marvell, but customizing\u00a0 Arm processors for individual customers could be. "There is a lot of market for Arm vertical processors,\u201d he said.\nMarvell saw that with the hyperscalers, one size did not fit all and each wanted a custom hardware solution for their apps. Hussain said most of the IP in these custom solutions is Marvell\u2019s \u2013 sometimes all of it. It\u2019s just a configuration difference: a different size cache or different number of cores or in some cases some logic they want embeded in the product.\n\u201cA good part of having custom, specific model is we don\u2019t start a project unless it is mutually funded,\u201d said Hussain. \u201cThe risk is substantially reduced for a company like Marvell because the customer is getting what they want, and hey have skin in the game, and from our point of view we are developing a product for a targeted customer and ROI is very good.\u201d\nJim McGregor, principal analyst with Tirias Research, says Marvell is continuing on with what\u2019s been successful and a better move because they get up-front commitments. \u201cThe customer pays up front and places an order, so Marvell knows the minimum they will make,\u201d he said.\nAnd while Marvell is giving up on general purpose servers, there are still plenty of places to use an Arm socket, like networking and storage. \u201cYou don\u2019t want an x86 server chip for those. It wouldn\u2019t make sense,\u201d he said.