Calxeda boasts of 5 watt ARM server node • The Register

There have been hints, whispers, speculation and allegations that ARM is setting it’s sights on the data center with it’s ARM-15 CPU architecture (still in development). However, on the mobile computing front, Apple has showed what amazing power savings are possible with fully tweaked ARM-8 cpus in it’s A4 processor for the iPad and iPhone 4. A full 10 hours of battery life in a tablet still stands as a record for all others to break. And yet, no one has quite achieved that level of optimization. Which leads me to wonder what if someone with enough startup money and time could develop an ARM based server TODAY? What kind of power savings could they achieve given what is possible today in a SeaMicro SM-10000 server using lackluster Intel Atom chips designed for netbooks?

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Calxeda is not going to make and sell servers, but rather make chips and reference machines that it hopes other server makers will pick up and sell in their product lines. The company hopes to start sampling its first ARM chips and reference servers later this year. The first reference machine has 120 server nodes in a 2U rack-mounted format, and the fabric linking the nodes together internally can be extended to interconnect multiple enclosures together.

via Calxeda boasts of 5 watt ARM server node • The Register.

SeaMicro and now Calxeda are going gangbusters for the ultra dense low power server market. Unlike SeaMicro, Calxeda wants to create reference designs it licenses to manufacturers who will build machines with 120 cores in a 2 Unit rack. SeaMicro’s record right now is 512 cores per 10U rack  or roughly 102+ cores in a 2 Unit rack. The difference is the SeaMicro product uses an Intel low power Atom cpu,  whereas Calxeda is using a processor used more often in smart phones and tablet computers. SeaMicro has hinted they are not wedded to the Intel Architecture, but they are more interested in shipping real live product than coming up with generic designs others can license. In the long run it’s entirely possible SeaMicro may switch to a different CPU, they have indicated previously they have designed their servers with flexibility enough to swap out the processor to any other CPU if necessary. It would be really cool to see an apples-to-apples comparison of a SeaMicro server using first Intel CPUs versus ARM-based CPUs.

Author: carpetbomberz

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