Red Hat (RHT) dove a little deeper into the ARM world this week with the announcement of a new Partner Early Access Program (PEAP), which it said will help promote Red Hat's open source software on 64-bit ARMv8-A servers and other ARM devices.

32-bit ARM processors have been around for a long time, but Red Hat is eager to stake its claim to a share of emerging 64-bit ARM platforms, which could help to power next-generation data centers, among other applications. Through the new ARM PEAP, Red Hat said it will provide early-stage development software, documentation and other resources for ARM hardware to channel partners with the goal of fostering faster innovation and taking stock of partner needs within the ARM space.

"The Red Hat ARM Partner Early Access Program continues Red Hat's efforts to drive open standards and best practices within the 64-bit ARM ecosystem, enabling tighter collaboration with leading innovators in the ARM ecosystem," said Jim Totton, vice president and general manager, Platform Business Unit at Red Hat. "By providing our participating partners with the tools, resources and support needed to build a common development platform, we can help facilitate partner-driven 64-bit ARM solutions that are based upon Red Hat technologies."

Notably, Red Hat also reports that it aims "to create a singular 64-bit ARM server software platform that relies on common standards." No doubt based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the server platform is unlikely to be the only OS in town for 64-bit ARM servers, since other open source software vendors, such as Canonical, are already invested in ARM initiatives of their own.

Still, Red Hat's 64-bit ARM platform will almost certainly be a major contender in this emerging ecosystem. And with a number of industry partners already signed on to the company's ARM PEAP, including ARM, AMD, AMI, AppliedMicro, Broadcom, Cavium, Dell, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and Linaro, the software it creates stands to enjoy broad backing from the start.