HP Building Servers Using ARM-based SoCs

31 Oct

HP and Calxeda have teamed up to build servers based on ARM’s low-power design.

Dow Jones Newswires reports that HP has got into a team with semiconductor start-up Calxeda to develop servers based on ultra low-power ARM chips. These servers will be concentrated on companies who construct big data centers and need to lower both their physical footprint and overall energy consumption. These companies incorporate all those who deal with cloud computing, the Internet, and those looking to analyze on their data.

According to derivations close to the project, HP and Calxeda will soon release a prototype server and plans for a proof-of-concept program as well as more information about partnership. Sample chips produced by the partnership will be completed and appear by the end of the year. Then it will ramp up to a wholesome volume production by the second half of 2012. These chips will engross about 90-percent less energy, take up around 90 percent less space and have a lower overall cost of ownership compared to Intel’s mid-range server processors.

ARM is an investor in the Austin, Texas-based Calxeda. The reports says that the first reference structure will be based on an ARM Cortex-A9 quad-core SoC. Server builders will be capable of designing systems as dense as 120 ARM quad-core nodes (480 cores) in a 2U enclosure, with moderate consumption of around 5W per node (1.25W per core). The chip might be produced at Globalfoundaries using 45-nm or 28-nm process technology.

Naturally HP, ARM and Calxeda turned down to comment on partnerships that have been unpublicized. Michael Inglis , Vice President of ARM said that ARM-based chips will first present its appearance in server machines utilized to support fundamental access to websites, and then ascended to more powerful systems. He also added that in 2014, the system will be emerging.

At the same time, Intel apparently does not take ARM’s entry into server market as a menace. “We don’t take any threats to our server business lightly, but there are a number of challenges for the ARM architecture to be successful in the server market,” Intel spokesman Bill Calder said. “We believe the best-performing platform will win.”

Anonymous sources says, including the working with HP, Calxeda is also discussing with other main server makers, storage vendors and other companies regarding the usage of its processors in their products. Within few months, Partnerships are expected to formally announced. Karl Freund, Calxeda vice president of marketing, said that the firm is in various steps of discussions with many other partners about bringing products to market.
Source: tomshardware
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