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HP ARM Server Rumour Not Telling Whole Story Says Source

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 (opens in new tab) 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.

Désiré Athow
Contributor

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.