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The 10 Coolest Servers Of 2012 (So Far)

As blade systems get bigger, faster and more dense, GPUs and ARM processors are finding their way into the core of server thinking.

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Low-Power ARM Server

With ARM processors poised to take over the world of smartphones, tablets and thoudands of other device types, it seems fitting to see the processor IP giant sights set on the general-purpose server market.

The Boston Vidiris from Boston Limited is a 2U rack-mount server built around the ARM-based Calxeda EnergyCore system-on-chip. With 192 processor cores in all, a fully populated Boston Viridis is actually a 48-node cluster deployed on a dozen so-called EnergyCards -- each with four SoCs and 4 GB of DDR3 memory -- which together can reportedly outperform "a whole rack" of x86 servers while consuming one-tenth the power. Processors themselves consume between 0.5 and 5 watts and the entire system including networking and fabric interconnect consumes about 300 watts; it runs Ubuntu Server 12.04 LTS or Fedora 17. Pricing and availability have not yet been announced. Dell and Hewlett-Packard reportedly are developing prototypes. Really cool.

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