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.
HP had come up with the job done very fast, just before few months there were news of ARM Cortex usage for the servers, and HP has announced the products with it. If this gets well accepted then it will give tough time to Intel.
So ARM is now encroaching from the mobile computing space to the server space! Looks like a tough fight ahead for Intel.
I think it is good for Calxeda Inc. and I happy for Calxeda. Only a question occur to my mind, what motivated (or compelled?) HP for taking the risk of using the chip designed by a start-up?
Who in God's name is going to start porting over all of their software to ARM so they can accommodate HP?
You have to remember that HP still thinks that everybody is going to port over their software to the Itanium.
Ain't gonna happen.
Anyone remember Trasmeta? Yeah, THAT Transmeta that was going to wipe the floor with Intel in the low-power space? I am not dismissing ARM long-term, 10-15 years from now their architecture may be a powerhouse assuming that a) they start providing legacy support b) the additions in power consumption imposed by the needs of enterprise-class hardware do not wipe out their power consumption advantage and c) Intel does not respond. 15 years ago Intel servers were also ridiculed, today they rule the roost. IBM, HP, Cree, and most other big iron makers chose to dismiss Intel servers as a joke. (a) and (b) will almost certainly occur to one extent or another. The question is WWID (What will Intel do)? In the past they have defended their turn from erosion from below ferociously. Anyone really expect things to be different this time?
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.