In Beijing, I ran into Barry Evans, one of the brains behind the famed Xscale processor SoC, now a co-founder and CEO at Calxeda.
Perhaps even more important is a boom in software development happening
in China--among end users (who use servers to run their software
applications and Internet services); OEMs (who are looking to add value
to their product offerings); and ODMs (who see the emerging technology
transition to capitalize their business on).
“very capable software development in China,” said that a lot of
software application development being designed for Chinese Web service
It’s a fact that Chinese Internet service companies
are thriving on quick decisions. They’re always eager to add new
features based on the instantaneous feedback they get from local users.
Successful local sites in China include: Baidu, China’s number one
search engine; QQ (Tencent), China’s largest instant messaging service
provider; Sina.com.cn, China’s biggest portal site; and Taobao.com, the
most popular shopping website in China, an equivalent to eBay. All
process new features at breakneck pace, because competitors are doing
But “all software hits the wall at some point,” said
Baughman. “We believe their software maps out very well on our scale-out
architecture [of ARM-based systems].”
Consider the front-end Web server.
that your server capacity needs to handle at least 10,000,000 http
requests per second on 1 Gigabit network infrastructure. This is a
real-world problem that allows comparison between the densest
competitive x86-based micro-server and a Boston Virdis System running on
Calxeda’s ARM-based SoCs, according to Baughman. With Boston, the
ARM-based solution (1535 servers; 1.6 racks; 2 switches; its power
consumption at 13kW) can offer 40 percent lower total cost of ownership,
while it can be implemented in 61 percent less space, he claimed,
compared to the X86-based solution (1997 servers; 4 racks; 44
Leveraging such differences, everyone wants to
drive different specifications [for Web servers] for specific clients.
Baidu, Tencent, Sina and others are running into their own unique
problems and they are designing proprietary specifications. “We need to
take part in that conversation,” said Baughman.
Calxeda is not
only beefing up its sales and marketing team but adding engineering
resources who can help those service providers’ software innovation,
said Baughman. Altogether, Calxeda now has about 25 people covering
Greater China, Japan and Taiwan, according to Aaron Grassian, director
of Asia sales and business development.