The idea that servers need more MIPS/watt just will not go away. There is now a chip specialized for creating 480 cores of ARM in a 2U enclosure for a 5-10X improvement in performance/watt over x86. The new chip comes from Calxeda and includes 4 A9 cores and fabric for meshing a bunch of chips together. Each node runs on about 5 watts. Cool.
“We start by building up from the concepts and technologies pioneered in the world of mobile phones, where every milliwatt counts, add in some secret sauce born in the world of Super Computers, and then work with System Vendors to create low energy servers for extreme scale.”
I like that. I am thinking about firing up my old quad-core beast that uses well over 100 watts that provides terminal server, file, web and database service for my LAN. Imagine what I could do with 20 or more cores using this technology… It’s not about creating a better hair-drier. It’s about putting more infrastructure into the silicon where Moore’s Law gives more processes per litre and per watt. It’s the right thing to do in a data-centre and may well be useful in workstations which amount to a super-computer near the desk.
Calxeda has been named as one of the top 50 most innovative companies by MIT. This is not just PR.