SANTA CLARA, Calif.—Hewlett-Packard Co. plans to sell servers with ARM-based processors made by startup Calxeda Inc., according to a report Wednesday (Oct. 26) by the Bloomberg news service.
HP (Palo Alto, Calif.) is working on the chips with Calxeda, an Austin, Texas-based startup that is owned in part by ARM Holdings plc, according to the report, which cited unnamed sources.
A move by HP to bring to market servers with ARM-based processors would be a blow to Intel Corp. and its x86 architecture, which dominates the PC and server space.
ARM-based processors have gained significant attention as a way to lower power for power-constrained data centers. But ARM proponent have their work cut out for them porting and optimizing the wealth of existing x86 server software to the architecture.
Calxeda said earlier this year that its server processor uses four ARM Cortex A9 processors consuming a total of 5W, including associated DRAM. The chip aims to deliver a 5-10x performance advantage and a 15-20x price/performance advantage over traditional server processors, according to Calxeda. Marvell Technology Group Ltd. announced a roughly similar processor last year that is now running in test systems.
Intel has tried to counter the interest in low power ARM servers from OEMs such as Dell and HP by releasing lower power versions of its Xeon server processors. It also announced in 2012 it will release a sub-10W Atom processor for servers.
In June, Caxeda said it struck partnerships with 10 companies working with its unreleased ARM-based processor for servers. Those companies are generally small software developers for cloud computing along with at least one cloud service provider and a systems integrator.