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Calxeda, one of the first companies to start designing server-class ARM-based system-on-chips for servers, today disclosed its vision and roadmap. The Calxeda roadmap implements a two-pronged strategy to reach additional markets. The first enables optimized racks for public and private clouds, while the second will enable and span massive warehouse-scale datacenters. The roadmap includes chips based on Cortex-A15 as well as ARMv8.

Calxeda’s second-generation platform, code-named “Midway” opens new markets for Calxeda. To go after cloud applications such as dynamic web hosting and more computationally intensive Big Data analytics, Midway delivers more performance, more memory and hardware virtualization support using standard Cortex-A15 ARM cores. In addition, Calxeda’s second generation fabric will support new features such as dynamic power and routing optimization for public and private clouds. Midway will be available in volume in 2013.

"We are taking it two steps further to reinvent the server, first into a rack-based cloud appliance, and then extending into an integrated fleet of computing resources, spanning many thousands of efficient servers. It is all about finding the right balance of I/O, Storage, networking, management, memory and computational elements for each target market segment. This is the beauty of an ARM-based SoC approach: each platform can be tailored to add more value by addressing the unique needs of a specific workload,” said Barry Evans, Calxeda’s founder and CEO.

Calxeda’s third generation platform, code-named “Lago”, is Calxeda’s platform for the warehouse-scale datacenter. Built on the 64-bit ARMv8 architecture, Lago features Calxeda’s third generation scaling features, called the Calxeda Fleet Services, to further automate and optimize common operations at massive scale. The enhanced fabric will also connect hundreds of thousands of nodes, with quality of service features and the ability to allocate and control resources. Lago is set to become available in 2014.

“We expect to lead the industry with new concepts that will change the datacenter in ways far beyond just lowering power and increasing density. Lago will be in the first wave of 64-bit complete systems and application stacks on ARM in 2014, and we are collaborating with key partners to ensure that customers can ramp quickly with production-quality software and OS support for both Midway and Lago,” explained Mr. Evans.

To date Calxeda has shipped thousands of EnergyCore ECX-1000 SoCs to OEM customers and end users, which proves that there is a great interest towards ultra-low power architectures in datacenters. Numerous analysts believe that even 32-bit ARM-based server solutions may be disruptive for certain environments.

"64-bit ARM architecture-based production servers are years away. Calxeda's approach to shipping 32-bit technology today and upgrading to the ARM-A15 in 2013 makes a lot of sense for specialized workloads in the largest datacenters," said Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy.  

Tags: Calxeda, EnergyCore, ARM, Cortex, Cortex-A15, ARMv8

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