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Old 20th Dec 2013, 09:51   #1
Gareth Halfacree
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ARM server pioneer Calxeda all-but folds

Moonshot miss a near-fatal blow.
http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardwar...alxeda-folds/1
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Old 20th Dec 2013, 10:36   #2
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Surprised to say the least if demand is there then surely they would be raking it in. Maybe the demand is just not there as people think it might be.
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Old 20th Dec 2013, 10:40   #3
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Originally Posted by rollo View Post
Surprised to say the least if demand is there then surely they would be raking it in. Maybe the demand is just not there as people think it might be.
It appears to be the Osborne Effect in action: Calxeda has been talking up its 64-bit products, due next year - so nobody's buying its 32-bit products, instead choosing to wait until the 64-bit chips are out. The result: Calxeda has no cash to actually make the 64-bit chips happen. Bye-bye, company.

It's named for Adam Osborne, who killed sales of the Osborne 1 portable computer by announcing a pair of successors that would blow it out of the water - sadly, significantly before either were ready to launch. Sales of the Osborne 1 dropped through the floor as buyers waited for the promised successors, then Osborne ran out of cash to actually build said successors and the company folded.

What's that saying about those who do not know history?
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Old 20th Dec 2013, 11:30   #4
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a last-minute shift in the company's plans saw Calxeda's ARM designs replaced with Intel Atom chips
Who else thinks Intel gave HP a price and support package that was way too good to refuse? Suspicious ol' me thinks Intel would have known that Calxeda desperately needed this sale and would have done anything to help them fold.

I wonder if money changed hands between Intel and HP... how much was it? And in which direction?
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Old 20th Dec 2013, 12:57   #5
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Watch your homophones, Gareth "a common site" X-o

Interesting article, and even more interesting comment about the Osborne Effect.
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Old 20th Dec 2013, 13:02   #6
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Watch your homophones, Gareth "a common site" X-o
A slanderous accusation; some of my best friends are homophones! I mean, err... (Fixed, ta!)
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Old 20th Dec 2013, 13:03   #7
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Crikey hadn't seen that one coming, had been reading all the hype about the 64-bit arm architecture.
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Old 20th Dec 2013, 14:32   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
Who else thinks Intel gave HP a price and support package that was way too good to refuse? Suspicious ol' me thinks Intel would have known that Calxeda desperately needed this sale and would have done anything to help them fold.

I wonder if money changed hands between Intel and HP... how much was it? And in which direction?
Given Intel's track record, I would say it's a pretty safe bet they greased the rails. HP probably got their Atoms for pennies.
I mean, they've been pretty cut-throat just trying to keep competing x86 processors marginalized, going back to the 486 clones. Hell, they quit using model numbers for the Pentium just so they could trademark the name.

ARM isn't even COMPATIBLE with anything they make. If they let it catch on in this market, they'll have an uphill fight to reclaim it.
They will do anything and everything in their power to keep ARM out of the server market... right until the very second they have their own ARM parts to sell, when it will suddenly be the next big innovation from the industry leader.
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Old 20th Dec 2013, 15:02   #9
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Its possible. It could also be that HP decided that the Atoms were good enough performance per watt and over all tdp combined with allowing x86 code execution and higher RAM amounts.

At least from what I can see, Silvermont arch is better than Cortex A15 in most cases as it stands currently in performance per watt and A57 is still a bit off from seeing a server room.


Price is certainly a consideration, but in the general server market, the CPU is a relatively small piece of the overall price, especially in machines that run 24x7. A z3770 is $37 in 1,000 unit lots according to Intel ARK, I'd assume any server varient probably isn't going to run significantly more than that. Maybe $50 a pop.

8GB of ECC RDIMMs are going to cost more than the CPU is for many of these machines (or at least possibly/likely).

Its also possible that the overall architecture of the server was easier/cheaper to construct with the other things that Atom was bringing to the table, or maybe not.

Intel could have subsidized the heck out of the price to cut out ARM. I wouldn't put it past Intel, but that doesn't mean that is what actually happened. The new silvermont Atoms are actually very good, in a lot of ways better than almost anything ARM designed on the actual market today.
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Old 20th Dec 2013, 18:06   #10
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To be honest - just look at how good Bay Trail Atoms actually are. 8" tablets with them are passive and i didn't even catch the glimpse of any heat yet on my Miix 2. 2W typical power consumption, 4W TDP for a quadcore x86 CPU - ARM will have hard task fighting against that. TDP difference is too low, performance is similar or better, Atom has x86 compatibility...
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Old 22nd Dec 2013, 11:34   #11
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The last bit is the big one that people refuse to think is the + point. But for most big companies its a huge +.

Arm servers requires someone to actually buy them to be successful. Google is gonna make its own is the rumours theres 1 huge demand just gone, Same with Facebook. They are 2 biggest potential customers and they are both thinking of making there own chips.

Does not really leave alot of target areas.
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Old 24th Dec 2013, 10:35   #12
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Hmm...Google wants ARM servers, Calxeda is broke...and Google's pile of money is starting to get too big for Sergey and Larry to sleep on comfortably. What to do, what to do?
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Old 24th Dec 2013, 11:55   #13
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Hmm...Google wants ARM servers, Calxeda is broke...and Google's pile of money is starting to get too big for Sergey and Larry to sleep on comfortably. What to do, what to do?
Facebook might get first dibs http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/10...calxeda_board/

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Google is gonna make its own is the rumours theres 1 huge demand just gone, Same with Facebook. They are 2 biggest potential customers and they are both thinking of making there own chips.
Google and Facebook isn't a "huge demand". ARM sells ~10B CPUs a year, so even 10M servers is low volume by ARM's standards.

ARM getting into servers is also about ruining Intel's margins, not entirely about selling more chips. If Intel introduce subsidized Atoms and reduce the margins on their Xeons to compete with cheap-as-chips ARM parts, then ARM still wins even if they don't sell a single socket.
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Old 25th Dec 2013, 20:23   #14
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ARM all combined might sell 10bil I have my douts personally, But the 2 - 3 major companies ( apple , Samsung, Qualcomm) who produce and use them in smartphone tablets and servers between them are not even close to 1bil chips shipped let alone sold.

If ARM was licencing chips for 10bil as it would it would also be a lot richer than it currently is.

Licence estimates put it at around 700million chips sold btw.
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Old 25th Dec 2013, 21:08   #15
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Originally Posted by rollo View Post
ARM all combined might sell 10bil I have my douts personally, But the 2 - 3 major companies ( apple , Samsung, Qualcomm) who produce and use them in smartphone tablets and servers between them are not even close to 1bil chips shipped let alone sold.

If ARM was licencing chips for 10bil as it would it would also be a lot richer than it currently is.

Licence estimates put it at around 700million chips sold btw.
http://www.arm.com/products/processors/index.php


would seem ARM somewhat disagree with you by a about 29 BILLION of units sold
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Old 25th Dec 2013, 21:15   #16
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Where did you get that 700m number? I got 10B from a press release - "Q3 revenue came from the sales of about 2.5 billion ARM-based chips" and did a very simple 2.5B * 4 = 10B
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Old 26th Dec 2013, 18:24   #17
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You kinda just showed why between you arm servers will never be profitable. 30bil chips sold or licenced net 188million for 2012. In sept 2013 they only received 118mil total revenue for the quater. (all from there published financials)

That's worse revenue per chip than I have ever seen.
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Old 26th Dec 2013, 19:55   #18
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Not bad for a company that doesnt actually make anything
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arm, barry evans, calxeda, cloud computing, cloud servers, data centre, hewlett packard, hp, hpc, intel, marvell, project moonshot, server, smooth-stone, supercomputing

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