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HP says Intel Avoton Atom Moonshot servers will cost more than Centerton

But will arrive in the second half of 2013
Wed Apr 10 2013, 14:50
HP Moonshot enclosure and server cartridge

ENTERPRISE VENDOR HP has said that Intel Avoton based Moonshot cartridges will cost more than those based on Intel Centerton Atom chips, adding that not all workloads need Intel's upcoming Avoton Atom processor.

HP's decision to launch its second Moonshot server with Intel's first generation 64-bit Centerton Atom chip was a surprise, as the firm had championed Calxeda's Energycore processor in the first generation Moonshot server. Now HP has not only confirmed that it will offer Moonshot server cartridges with Intel's Avoton Atom processor in the second half of 2013, but said they will cost more than Centerton Atom based cartridges.

When asked why consumers would buy HP's Moonshot cartridges based on a chip that was announced a year ago, with its successor already revealed, David Chalmers, CTO of HP's EMEA Enterprise Group said that some customers need servers now rather than in the future.

He also indicated that not every customer will need Avoton based servers. "It goes very much back to being workload specific. So yes there will be some workloads that should wait for the new product, because they need the multi-core, they need the more processing power," said Chalmers.

Chalmers said that Avoton Atom based Moonshot cartridges will appear in the second half of 2013, which is in line with when Intel said it expects to start shipping production Avoton Atom chips. On Monday Intel revealed that is sampling Avoton processors and expects to ship production parts in the second half of 2013.

Chalmers revealed that Moonshot cartridges sporting Avoton Atom chips will cost more than those using Centerton Atom chips. Intel didn't comment on why HP's price for Avoton Atom based cartridges will be different than that of Centerton Atom based cartridges from its point of view.

Chalmers' comments strongly suggest that HP will sell both Centerton and Avoton based Moonshot cartridges concurrently and will use pricing to differentiate the chips along with the underlying differences between the two chips. Chalmers also mentioned customer desires to meet certain pricing targets for their servers, so it is likely that Centerton Atom cartridges will become the low cost x86 option for HP's Moonshot server customers.

Chalmers also confirmed that HP will be selling Moonshot servers in selected markets from today, underlining why it had to go with Intel's Centerton chip, as the Avoton chip is still a few months away. µ


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