HP to partner with Calxeda on ARM-based servers

ARM's hopes of breaking into the server market are about the receive a shot in the eponymous, with rumours pointing to a partnership between Hewlett Packard and Calxeda to push the low-power chips into the data centre.

Although not yet confirmed by ARM, HP or Calxeda, the rumours claim that HP is to launch a new line of low-power high-density servers built around ARM's low-power chips - most like the Cortex-A15 series.

HP wouldn't be the first to look towards ARM's low-power chips for massively parallel yet low-complexity tasks, as used in web server farms: ZT Systems launched a 16-core server back in 2010, while ARM's Ian Ferguson has publicly spoken of his desire to see his company's low-power chips enter the data centre.

While ARM's chips - back when they were still known as Acorn RISC Machines - began life on the desktop, the explosion of interest in the x86 architecture relegated the company to the mobile and embedded markets.

That turns out to have been the best thing that ever happened: ARM is now responsible for creating the designs behind more microprocessors than any other company, and powers almost every smartphone and tablet on the market today.

The company is always looking towards the next big thing, however, and as Intel looks to challenge its mobile stronghold with new low-power Atom designs, ARM is taking the fight to Intel's strongest area: the server market.

According to anonymous sources speaking to the Wall Street Journal, HP is looking to help. Partnering with ARM licensee Calxeda - previously known as Smooth-Stone - the company is looking to produce a range of high-density servers using ARM processors.

If true, it could be the inflection point that triggers a rush of ARM servers from mainstream vendors - news that will have Intel sweating.