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HP is readying ARM-based servers

Worrying for Intel
Wed Oct 26 2011, 13:18

FLOGGER OF EXPENSIVE PRINTER INK HP is preparing ARM-based servers using chips from Calxeda.

HP, which is Intel's biggest x86 chip customer, reportedly is readying servers based on ARM processors, which will make it the first high volume server vendor to take the plunge away from Intel. Bloomberg reports that HP has turned to chip vendor Calxeda, a firm that is part-owned by ARM.

For ARM the question of its chips appearing in servers is more a question of when, rather than if. The chip designer's low powered processors have conquered the embedded world and enjoy a near shut-out in the smartphone and tablet market. Interestingly, ARM's foray into the server market is the mirror image of what Intel is facing in the smartphone and tablet market.

The problem for Intel is that in the server market everyone is looking for a low power chip that will enable them to increase compute density. Luckily for ARM, that's exactly what its chips are known for.

ARM hasn't kept its server intentions a secret, however it was expected that it would take a couple of years before its chips were adopted by headline server vendors such as HP and Dell.

If HP really is close to inking a deal with Calxeda to launch ARM-based servers, then Intel should be worried. Not only does HP ship a vast number of servers, but the fact that such a big brand sees ARM-based servers as a viable market could open the gates for its rivals to jump on the ARM bandwagon. µ


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