Both BusinessWeek and the Wall Street Journal wrote earlier today that Hewlett Packard is going to use ARM-based chips designed by a small Austin, Texas-based company called Calxeda in servers, a move that may be seen as a serious challenge to Intel's hegemony in the server market.
But an anonymous source close to the matter told us that "neither of the stories had any of the deals, the real meat or what the big deal will be". ARM is an investor in Calxeda and has been working on OEM design servers with 120 quad core Cortex A9-based nodes in a 2U enclosure, consuming roughly 600 watts(that's for 480 cores in all).
Calxeda is not the only one with ARM-based server chips in the pipeline. Nvidia is already mulling over such plans with project Denver and Marvell has the Armada XP server chip.
We already know that Intel is busy working on an Atom-based server CPU for the second half of 2012, one which will sip less than 10 watts, nearly twice what the Calxeda design is delivering now.
Businessweek mentions that an event will take place on the 1st of November, one which we will be attending. ARM's weakness in the server market has been, and still will be, the lack of support for 64-bit; still it is interesting to see that the likes of Canonical, Microsoft and Redhat have already pledged their support for ARM, and that Linaro, which ARM co-founded, is collaborating extensively with the open source community to provide tweaks and improvements to the Linux Kernel and others.