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SeaMicro's New Server has Latest Intel Atom N570 Chip

Agam Shah | March 2, 2011
SeaMicro on Monday announced a low-power server that includes 256 of Intel's latest Atom N570 dual-core processors.

FRAMINGHAM, 28 FEBRUARY 2011 - SeaMicro on Monday announced a low-power server that includes 256 of Intel's (INTC) latest Atom N570 dual-core processors.

The SM10000-64 has 512 Atom processing cores running at 1.66GHz, which combine to deliver 850GHz of processing power, the company said. Each core is capable of running two threads simultaneously, which helps boost application performance.

Intel's low-power Atom processors are typically used in netbooks. But these chips are considered more power-efficient than traditional server chips for certain tasks such as Web transactions, which contain small amounts of data and can be quickly processed.

The server is targeted at data centers that handle a large volume of Internet transactions, such as e-mail, search and social networking, said Andrew Feldman, CEO of SeaMicro. The server is also targeted at managed hosting providers and cloud-based service providers.

Depending on the application, a collection of Atom cores could provide better performance-per-watt than Intel's Xeon and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)' Opteron server chips, which consume more power and are geared toward intense engineering, math or database applications, Feldman said.

 

For example, Internet search engines don't hold all data on one giant machine, Feldman said. The index data is broken up over groups of smaller servers that band together to quickly execute transactions. Servers with low-power chips use fewer resources at executing such tasks, Feldman said.

"It's moving from big hardware and software to lots of little hardware and software," Feldman said. "We're building systems that are designed to optimize compute-per-watt."

The interest in building servers with low-power chips is growing as companies look to cut energy bills. Dell offers servers with low-power x86 chips on a selective basis and Microsoft has asked Intel to develop a 16-core Atom chip for servers. AMD is evaluating its Fusion netbook chips for servers. Low-power ARM processors, usually used in smartphones and tablets, could also soon reach servers. Marvell has already announced a server chip based on the ARM architecture and Nvidia (NVDA) earlier this year announced Project Denver, the code name for an ARM-based CPU being designed for PCs, servers and supercomputers.

 

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