Intel's Low-Power Atom Chip Making Way Into Data Centers

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2013-09-06 Print this article Print

Intel's latest whiz-bang processor, the low-power Atom C2000, had its day in the sun Sept. 4 at a press conference at Bently Reserve in downtown San Francisco. Following a review of its history, a listing of the many use cases into which Intel is planning to sell the processor and a charting of all its specifications, Intel executives demonstrated some of its capabilities. Partner companies such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard, SuperMicro, Wiwynn, Advantech, Newisys, NEC, Penguin Computing and Znyx spoke on the chip's behalf and showed off their newest data center servers, switches and storage machines built upon the fast new processors. Atom C 2000s will use substantially less power from the walls, Intel claims. This is an important trend going forward as data centers continue to take more overall electricity each year—the Uptime Institute reports that nearly 3 percent of all power in the world now flows into data centers of some type. This is up 100 percent from only five years ago. Here in this slide show are highlights of the Intel event. (Photos by Chris Preimesberger, eWEEK)

  • Intel's Low-Power Atom Chip Making Way Into Data Centers

    by Chris Preimesberger
    1 - Intel's Low-Power Atom Chip Making Way Into Data Centers
  • Meet Mr. Atom C2000

    The low-power (2.4GHz) Atom C2000 shows its simple lines in this illustration. Intel said the new 22-nanometer C2000 Avoton chips, based on the new Silvermont microarchitecture, will offer as much as seven times the performance and six times the power efficiency of the previous version, called Centerton. Some versions of this system-on-a-chip (SoC)—there are 13 in all—will offer as many as eight cores.
    2 - Meet Mr. Atom C2000
  • 'Mr. DeMille, I'm Ready for My Closeup'

    Taking off on a famous phrase from the classic film noir movie "Sunset Boulevard," the Atom C2000 gets a closeup shot while being held by Intel Senior Vice President Diane Bryant in order to show the size of the chip relative to her hand.
    3 - 'Mr. DeMille, I'm Ready for My Closeup'
  • HP's Newest Moonshot Server, the M300

    HP said the new Atom chips will give the Moonshot greater capabilities over the previous versions. Whereas previous modules handle such tasks as static Web serving, the performance boost will enable the new M300 to handle such heavier workloads as memory caching, a wider range of Web hosting and interactive Web content.
    4 - HP's Newest Moonshot Server, the M300
  • Dell's Cold Storage System

    This one features high-storage density (up to 48TB of capacity using 14 internal SATA drives, 12 of which can be hot-swappable) in a thin 1U form factor; optional JBOD (just a bunch of disks) expansion capability; flexible I/O, including 10GbE support; and support of a full range of Intel-installed software. When equipped to the maximum, one rack of these Cold Storage Systems can hold a little under 2PB of data, "all running on a very power-efficient SoC solution—the Atom C2000," Dell's Executive Director of Data Center Solutions Drew Schulke told eWEEK.
    5 - Dell's Cold Storage System
  • Wiwynn SV110 Micro Storage Server/Blade System

    This Taiwan-based server and storage maker has crammed six server blades and 24 3.5-inch hard disk SATA drives into one 2U frame. It features an integrated switch with a 10Gb uplink, six 1Gb ports and two 10Gb ports.
    6 - Wiwynn SV110 Micro Storage Server/Blade System
  • Newisys Storage Server

    Powered by the Atom chips, this system boasts 3G-bps throughput, 48TB storage capacity in a 1U form, full IPHI 2.0 remote management, cold storage and higher workload performance in a single box. It's available as a complete storage server or as a mini-ITX server board.
    7 - Newisys Storage Server
  • SuperMicro MicroBlades

    SuperMicro's super-sized 6U, 112-node MicroBlade architecture storage servers, powered by eight-core Atom chips, also can be used as short-depth rack-mount storage servers. They feature up to 32GB of DDR3, PCIe expansion capability and a high-efficiency power supply. Twenty-eight of the blades are hot-swappable.
    8 - SuperMicro MicroBlades
  • Atom Also Powers High-End Switches

    ZNYX, a switch maker that's been a valuable OEM for more than two decades, unveiled its Ultra5 40G ATCA Hub Switch at the Intel Atom event. Using eight-core Atom processors, it can provide up to 480G on the backplane, which will handle high-intensity data plane applications. These are most often used in security appliances, core telecom platforms, deep packet inspections and mobile defense applications, eWEEK learned.
    9 - Atom Also Powers High-End Switches
  • Advantech's ATCA Shelf Manager

    This very specialized item is designed for ATCA (advanced telecommunications computing architecture) use cases. It can remotely configure software-defined network elements for network function virtualization, something that many enterprises are now considering adding to IT networks. This controller simplifies ATCA management by abstracting complex configurations into a complete network element.
    10 - Advantech's ATCA Shelf Manager
  • Congrats to Quanta for the Intel Demo Rack

    Sporting an industry-record density of 42 nodes per server, Quanta's next-generation microserver—powered, of course, by Atom C2000s—was unveiled at the Intel event. The S1M is the latest result of a long-term collaboration between Quanta and Intel. Project Manager James Jau, who said the density of the microserver and the management were his biggest challenges in the eight-month-long build project, is congratulated by Jason Waxman, vice president and general manager of Intel's Cloud Platforms Group; and Diane Bryant, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Datacenter and Connected Systems Group.
    11 - Congrats to Quanta for the Intel Demo Rack

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