Major cash infusion for Calxeda ARM servers

Posted by Aharon Etengoff

Calxeda first introduced its ARM-powered "EnergyCore" Server-on-a-Chip (SoC) back in November of 2011.  

The SoC - an Cortex-A9 running between 1.1GHz-1.4GHz - consumes less than one tenth the power of today's most energy efficient server processors.

According to Calxeda CEO Barry Evans, EnergyCore is ideal for workloads such as web serving, Big Data applications, scalable analytics like Apache Hadoop, media streaming and mid-tier infrastructure such as caching and in-memory scalable databases.

Recently, the company managed to raise some $55 million in additional funding from a number of investors - racking up one of the largest semiconductor capital deals this year. 
Calxeda says it will use the funding to accelerate adoption in emerging markets for ultra-low power scalable computing. 

"Performance testing and power measurements conducted by [us] and third parties confirm [our] initial projections," said Evans. "Calxeda delivers as much as a ten-fold improvement in energy efficiency compared to today's commodity x86-based servers."

To be sure, HP recently kicked off tests with customers of Calxeda-powered servers as part of an initiative dubbed Project Moonshot, while Boston Limited is currently selling servers loaded with Calxeda chips.

And as Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy told the Wall Street Journal, Calxeda expects to attract attention from industry heavyweights building massive data centers for relatively simple tasks such as serving up Web pages to millions of users.

"I almost see it as the smartphone invasion of the data center," said  Moorhead.

Indeed, as ARM rep James Bruce told TG Daily in October 2011, "the entire industry is now realizing you can't just keep on sucking power," whether from an environmentally green or purely financial perspective. 

"And that is why we are working with partners to integrate ARM chips into server designs," he added.