HP Intros Low-Energy Data Center Platform Based On ARM Servers




"No company, including my peers, would sell development platforms," he said. "But when we bring our energy-efficient servers to market, it will be an HP ProLiant-class platform."

Calxeda is currently talking to five OEM customers about purchasing its servers for use as development platforms, Freund said. However, he declined to name potential partners other than HP.

"Everyone is trying to understand how big the push for energy efficiency is," he said. "I applaud HP for seeing how big this is, and for doing something about it."

The partnership with Calxeda and that company's ARM-based servers brings into question the possible impact Project Moonstone has on HP's relationships with its top processor vendors, AMD and Intel.

Partha Ranganathan, corporate fellow at HP Labs, said that AMD, along with Red Had, Canonical, and Calxeda, are partners in HP's new Pathfinder Program, which aims to develop technologies that work as part of Project Moonstone.

"AMD is on-board, as part of the Pathfinder Program," Ranganathan said.

Ranganathan also said HP's Intel relationship is strong. "Intel has a rich history of innovating with us," he said. "This won't change going forward."

HP also said that extreme low-energy server platforms based on the Intel Atom or other processors are planned.

Project Moonstone is not about the processor, Ranganathan said. "It's about taking innovation across the data center, across compute, storage, networking, power, and cooling in the data center, and testing them all out in massive scale," he said.

Last week, when word about Project Moonstone and a possible HP-Calxeda relationship leaked out, an Intel spokesperson told CRN the company is not concerned about the possible partnership between HP and Calxeda or about how it might impact HP's relationship with Intel.

The Intel spokesperson said Intel is already addressing low power consumption data center architectures with highly dense server architectures, with new versions of its Xeon processor which consume as low as 20 Watts per processor, and its Atom processors which feature sub-10-Watt power consumption.

Unlike the ARM processors, Intel's Atom processors are 64-bit chips which feature x86-based software compatibility, making them suitable for a wide variety of applications, especially for applications which require high scalability, the Intel spokesperson said.

Intel has recently accelerated its Atom processor roadmap with plans to move from its current 32-nanometer process for manufacturing the chips to a 22-nanometer process in 2013 and a 14-nanometer process in 2014.