Smooth-Stone, which is looking to build ARM-designed chips for low-power servers, is changing its name to Calxeda and hiring executives with backgrounds at such places as IBM, HP, Marvell and Polycom.
Smooth-Stone, a startup that is looking to move the ARM
processor designs into the data center, is changing its name and bulking up its
executive team with industry veterans from such companies as Hewlett-Packard, IBM
company, which announced $48 million in funding three months ago, is changing
its name to Calxeda and announced Nov. 16 the hiring of three new executives.
Calxeda is expected to release samples of its SoC (system-on-a-chip) server
processors next year and start manufacturing the chips in 2012. The multicore
chips will be based on ARM's Cortex-A9
processor design, which offer up to four cores per chip.
is among a number of companies that are looking to drive the ARM
chip designs into the data center as enterprises look for ways to reduce costs
on energy and space. ARM processor designs
dominate the smartphone-such as Apple's iPhone and devices based on Google's
Android operating system-and tablet markets, and some vendors are now looking
at them for such environments as Web servers and large, scale-out data centers.
Moving into the server space would bring it into more direct competition with
the likes of x86 chip giants Intel and Advanced Micro Devices.
Freund, a former marketing executive with HP who most recently was vice
president of marketing and strategy for IBM's
System z mainframe business, is now Calxeda's vice president of marketing.
Enterprises worried about the rising costs of data center power and space are
demanding fast action from the tech industry, according to Freund.
industry needs a new clock, not just another tick or tock," he said in a
statement, referring to Intel's "tick-tock" schedule for processor
releases. "Mere modest improvements in efficiency will not remove the
barriers to innovation that frustrate clients today. That's why I came to
Calxeda: to help turn this vision into a reality."
coming to Calxeda are Bob Baughman, who had been with Polycom and Marvell and
will be the company's vice president of business development and sales, and
Steve Beatty, a former executive with Freescale and SigmaTel, who will be vice
president of manufacturing.
CEO Barry Evans is echoing Freund's comments
that a major leap is needed to address power and space concerns of today's
believe the solution requires this order of magnitude improvement, literally
ten times the energy efficiency, for half the price," Evans said in a
statement. "This is within our reach with technologies we are developing at
with ARM, whose chip designs are used by
such manufacturers as Qualcomm, Samsung and Texas Instruments, are looking to
give their customers the capabilities to move up into the data center. As
manufacturers start to adopt the Cortex-A9 design, ARM
in September unveiled
its Cortex-A15 design
, formerly code-named "Eagle."
Cortex-A15 design will offer several enhancements-including support for
possibly as many as 16 cores, support for virtualization and up to 1TB of
memory-that will enable it to move into such enterprise products as servers and
growing number of tech companies are looking to offer new chips and system
designs aimed at meeting the growing demand for high-performing servers that
consume less energy than current products. Marvell officials earlier in
November demonstrated their quad-core
Armada XP chip
, which runs at 1.6GHz and offers such enterprise-class
features as up to 2MB of Level 2 cache, high-end networking ports and
PCI-Express Gen 2.0 units. The Armada XP is based on the ARM
v7 architecture, and will be aimed at such environments as Web servers, cloud
computing and high-volume home servers.
addition, SeaMicro is using Atom chips from Intel in its SM1000 servers, while
Quanta Computer, an original design manufacturer, is packing 512 processing
cores using chips from Tilera to build its systems.
and AMD also are pushing down the power
consumption of their x86 chips while increasing the performance.