ARM is strong-arming the server market with the smallest server. Calxeda released the EnergyCore ARM server-on-chip, or SoC, eating up a mere 1.5 watts. When idling, the SoC only requires 0.5 watts. HP is committing itself to manufacturing servers based on the technology. This is great news for Calxeda, since HP is the world’s largest manufacturer of servers. The SoC creams its closest competitor, Intel, who makes a 20-watt x86 server chip.
Calexda is counting on the successes of ARM in mobile devices to somehow magically apply to their attempts to challenge Intel in the commodity server market. They boast that their chip is ideal for scalable analytics, web serving, mid-tier infrastructure (in-memory databases and caching), big-data apps, and media streaming.
Calexda appears to be going after the leftovers in the server market, though, due to the 32-bit address of their chip. It is based on the ARM Cortex processor, but Intel will challenge them on exactly this point about addressing. Still, the form factor is small and the energy consumption puts Intel to shame. There is definitely a niche for this midget 32-bit chip.