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Freund says most processors running on servers draw about 160 watts under normal operation, and even draw about 80 watts when they’re idle. Calxeda’s processors, by contrast, draw just five watts under normal operation and half a watt “when our server is doing nothing,” Freund says.

He says the new servers wouldn’t be appropriate for some more “latency sensitive” server applications, like algorithmic stock trading, or fast database queries, but he thinks they’d be perfect for companies whose customers are everyday users of sites like Google and Facebook.

Furber expects even supercomputers to eventually use ARM processors. “There is no way forward now for computer technology except to go parallel, and once you have adopted massive parallelism, you can choose between delivering your performance requirement from, say, 1,000 complex processors or 10,000 simple processors,” he says. “These two solutions will deliver roughly the same computing power at roughly the same silicon cost, but the simple processors will deliver it at a tenth of the energy consumption, and energy is increasingly the principal cost of computing.”

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Credit: Calxeda

Tagged: Computing, Communications, mobile, HP, smart phones, microprocessors, data centers, ARM Holdings, power efficiency

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