New Company Taps Transmeta Chip for Servers

By eweek  |  Posted 2001-01-22

As if mindful of an energy crunch in Silicon Valley, a group of former Compaq Computer executives have gotten together to form RLX Technologies, which intends to produce low-power-consumption servers.

The company plans to deliver servers with eight times the processing power per cubic foot at one-quarter of the power consumption.

RLX was launched Jan. 15 to design a new generation of compact servers around the Transmeta hardware/software combination that Fujitsu and several other Japanese device makers have adopted for its power-conserving characteristics.

Gary Stimac, who led Compaqs Systems Division in developing the first Compaq servers, will be chief executive of the new company, located in The Woodlands, a 27,000-acre planned community north of Houston. President and chief operations officer will be Mike Swavely, a former Compaq marketing and sales executive. Chris Hipp, former president of Digital Media Performance Labs, is co-founder and chief technology officer. John Cracken is co-founder and chairman, and comes, along with another co-founder, John Harkey, out of the Dallas private equity firm, Cracken Harkey & Co.

The management team was assembled through a series of quiet meetings held in a Houston-area barbecue restaurant, Stimac said.

The management team has selected the Transmeta Crusoe chip as the basis for its planned next-generation Razor servers because of its reduced requirements for energy and space, according to information posted on the companys Web site.

Razor servers will fit into the cramped space of hosting and colocation services that tie computing power to high-speed Internet access better than current servers, said Dave Ditzel, former Sun Microsystems Sparc chip designer and now CEO of Transmeta.

Razor servers are being designed by a team "that set the course for the server marketplace" at Compaq, and will offer lower power consumption, less heat generation, minimal space requirements and fast deployment, Ditzel said. "This team is once again raising the industrys competitive bar," he said.

Rocket Fuel