Calxeda Launches EnergyCore Server Chip

The secretive, ARM-based startup, formerly known as Smooth-stone, has announced the launch of its first ARM-based server chip called EnergyCore.

The company says that the EnergyCore processor can deliver 10 times the performance for the same amount of power (or the same performance for a tenth of the power consumption).

It says that its system-on-chip comes with a "supercomputer-grade" 80Gb fabric switch, 4MB ECC L2 cache shared amongst four Cortex-A9 MPCore chips, that are clocked between 1.1GHz and 1.4GHz, and an integrated management engine with power optimisation software.

The SoC consumes a jaw droppingly low 5W which is a fraction of what the Intel Xeon E3 series or AMD's own Opteron processors consume, and was etched using a 40nm manufacturing process which means that EnergyCore has plenty of room to progress.

How important is the launch of EnergyCore for the chip market? Well respected analyst Nathan Brookwood from Insight 64 compares it to the start of the American Civil War and the attack on Fort Sumter.

Brookwood says that EnergyCore together with fellow rival, Applied Micro X-Gene (whose 64-bit prototype of an ARM chip running ARMv8 was demoed a few days ago), have launched the first skirmishes on the RISC and CISC architectures that dominate the server landscape.