A British company with an American name, Boston Limited, has become the first to come out with an ARM-based server range before the likes of HP or Dell, which have both already announced that they will build servers with ARM inside.
The Boston Viridis platform uses Calxeda's EnergyCore SoCs - announced back in November 2011 - to deliver a 2U server cluster that contains 12 EnergyCards, each with four SoCs, which in turn contain four cores. Each unit can contain up to 24 hard disks or microSD cards and up to 900 servers can fit in a 42U rack.
Boston says that the Viridis platform will outperform a whole rack of standard x86 platform on specific applications while occupying just 10 per cent of the space and consuming less than 10 per cent of the power (that's less than 300W for the whole package including fabric and management solutions).
Calxeda's EnergyCore use Cortex-A9 processors which are 32-bit and can address only 4GB of RAM. The next generation Cortex-A15 still not be 64-bit capable and Calxeda will be able to squeeze up to eight cores onto one single chip with each of them perfoming up to 40 per cent faster than a Cortex-A9 core.