ARM started to get involved in servers in 2011 with the announcements of Calxeda Energy Core, Marvell, and Applied Micro X-Gene Servers-on-a-Chip, and in 2012, products made by companies such as HP and Mitac started to appears. We’ve got to see some more ARM based servers this year thanks to Charbax, who filmed some Aaeon and Foxconn servers powered by Calxeda EnergyCore quad core ARM Cortex A9 SoC at Computex 2013.
The first server is Aaeon Indus 1U cloud storage appliance:
- 1U Chassis
- 2x Calxeda Energycore nodes
- 10x 3.5″ HDD
- 2x 10 GbE uplinks and 4x 10GbE chassis-to-chassis interconnects
Foxconn server shown at Computex has slightly higher specs:
- 4U chassis
- 12 Calxeda Energycore nodes
- 60x 3.5″ HDD for up to 240TB storage
- 4x 10 GbE uplinks and 6x 10 GbE chassis-to-chassis interconnects for 100 GbE total bandwidth
There’s also a Gigabyte server, but I could get details. Server based on Calxeda Energycore are said to provide 3 times more bandwidth per dollar compared to x86 servers, and run either Fedora or Ubuntu. In servers, performance is limited by hard drive, so processing power is often wasted on x86 platform, unless you had a lot of HDDs to match the processors performance.
Calxeda current module has 4 nodes, but they’ve made a new one with just 2 nodes that integrates 2 Ethernet ports, and provides access to SATA via “golden” connectors, instead of SATA connectors, and allow cable-less designs.
A new SoC based on 4 Cortex A15 cores will be available later this, and Calxeda also mention they are a Cortex A57 license, and 64-bit Calxeda SoCs are to be expected next year.