An HP representative said the company is shipping beta versions of Centerton systems to customers. The beta chip addresses a handful of applications that don’t require heavy CPU processing, including memcached, off-line analytics and Hadoop, he said.
HP will announce early next year a new system called Genesis. The company has said it will support a mix and match variety of Atom and ARM server SoCs in a single chassis.
A Facebook representative at the Intel event said wimpy cores like the Atom SoC can handle similar work for a half to a one-third the power of so-called brawny cores such as Intel’s Xeon server CPU. He did not say whether Facebook will use the new chips, instead speaking in general terms about supporting the new SoCs as long as they have 64-bit addressing and error correction codes.
A Microsoft data center chief architect said using x86-compatible CPUs for both wimpy and brawny cores helps lower complexity and cost. “Once again Intel and Microsoft are working together to supply best platform for our customers,” said Jeffrey Snover of Microsoft.
“Today there are no enterprise-class arm servers…the comparison [of ARM SoCs to the S1200] is not apples to apples,” because the ARM chips lack 64-bit support, said Diane Bryant, general manager of Intel’s Datacenter and Connected Systems Group.
“We know investments are being made, and we have a good view into the alternative architecture,” said Bryant. “We believe we have a substantial performance and performance-per-watt advantage, and at the system level a compelling solution."
Intel’s gross margins for the Atom SoCs are good, she told a Wall Street analyst. “Because of the density of compute, our revenue with either Xeon or Atom is a wash--in fact, Atom is slightly greater, so it’s absolutely fine if Atom does well,” she said.
The S1200 is a 6W part with two, dual-threaded, in-order Atom cores. The SoC includes a controller supporting up 8 GBytes DDR3 memory. The 64-bit chip also supports Intel’s virtualization technologies, eight lanes of PCI Express 2.0 and ECC
It comes in three versions, with frequency ranging from 1.6 to 2.0 GHz. Costs start at $54 in the thousands.
There will be unrelenting pressure on cloud service providers to use the most energy efficient architectures. To fail to do so will be terminal to their long term plans. Most of them already know this and are watching the low power race with keen interest. Charlie Babcock, editor at large, InformationWeek
We need to stop confusing low power with energy efficient. If a system runs a job at 50W for 2 hours it is NOT energy efficient vs. a system that runs the same job at 100W for 30 minutes. That's where we are on microservers vs. servers.
Unit cost $54, and that's just the CPU---the complete system will require a chipset, whereas ARM tends to be a more integrated SoC requiring less components.
That says it all.... they aren't really interested in microservers.
Isn't it a SoC? There is no chipset listed in the specifications of Quanta STRATOS S900-X31, http://www.qsscit.com/en/01_product/02_detail.php?mid=27&sid=155&id=156&qs=94. Quanta QCT claims less than 10W per node.
Intel leap frog an over statement?
Whether 32 or 64 bit ARMS on blade is viable high margin business and can compete with Xeon with system management.
And it’s not issue of wimpy ARM, but crippled ARM given architectural enhancement that can make a StrongARM. ARM architectural license is advantageous over design license.
ARM community places scalar ARM at ˝ perf of Intel dual issue. ARM 64 bit super speculated closing processing gap on freq v ATOM.
Seven 32 bit ARM 1.1 GHz quads equal one Xeon 2620 hexa 2.0 GHz in this Intel loaded molecular docking benchmark; http://www.lowpowerservers.com/?p=141. Need to email reviewer because it’s not clear how many Calxeda quads were thrashed in loaded benchmark verse dual Xeon 2620’s. And how likely does Vina code for molecular docking require FPU?
Xeon 2620 sells for $410 in 1,000 unit quantities. Not taking into account added system blocks that are BSM, I/O, NIC, Calxeda silicon is then valued at $59 which flies under Intel average fixed cost. But wait, might those Calxeda quads running 55% the frequency of 2620 be valued at $114? On hexa core equal basis $171? With BSM, I/O, NIC $198 placing Energy Core at Intel average total cost. Meaning there is a value message here for ARM SOCs that is not getting through.
For multiple ARMS on blade analyst suspects will reach into high end XEON product performance and price rungs.
Subsequently dual core ATOM S1200 presents solely low power paper tiger. Octa ATOM on low power multi core seems more likely an Intel barrier to protect higher power Xeon product and price voids certainly into E3, into E5 & even 46xx for massive dense where ARM NIC in SOC across fabric in VM mode is aimed to resolve Xeon power utilization issue. And what about ARM 64 bit sporting 12 and 16 cores v Intel?
ARMs on blade is a viable high margin business.
Calxeda's marketing lead notes that Intel's 6W Centerton has only two cores and lacks support for Ethernet, Serial ATA and a fabric.
But then Calxeda's ~4W four-core chip lacks support for 64-bit addressing which is a must for most server apps.