Calxeda in the news again this week with some more announcements regarding its plans. Remembering recently to the last article I posted on Calxeda, this company boasts an ARM based server packing 120 cpus (each with four cores) into a 2U high rack (making it just 3-1/2″ tall *see note). With every evolution in hardware one must needs get an equal if not greater revolution in software. Which is the point of the announcement by Calxeda of its new software partners.
It’s all mostly cloud apps, cloud provisioning and cloud management types of vendors. And with the partnership each company gets early access to the hardware Calxeda is promising to design, prototype and eventually manufacture. Both Google and Intel have poo-poohed the idea of using “wimpy processors” on massively parallel workloads claiming faster serialized workloads are still easier to manage through existing software/programming techniques. For many years as Intel has complained about the programming tools, it still has gone the multi-core/multi-thread route hoping to continue its domination by offering up ‘newer’ and higher performing products. So while Intel bad mouths parallelism on competing cpus it seems to be desperate to sell multi-core to willing customers year over year.
Even as power efficient as those cores maybe Intel’s old culture of maximum performance for the money still holds sway. Even the most recent Ultra-low Voltage i-series cpus are still hitting about 17Watts of power for chips clocking in around 1.8Ghz (speed boosting up to 2.9Ghz in a pinch). Even if Intel allowed these chips to be installed into servers we’re stilling talking a lot of Thermal Design Point (TDM) that has to be chilled to keep running.
- Calxeda shows off new partners and will launch with Ubuntu as its OS (gigaom.com)
- Calxeda Readies Low-Power ARM Servers (datacenterknowledge.com)