The ARM-based server buzz continues this week with an announcement from Secaucus, NJ-based ZT Systems.
The server and PC maker unveiled the R1801e, a 1U unit with up to 16 ARM Cortex-A9 processor cores that operates at a mere 80 watts. That includes eight server modules, storage in the form of eight SSDs and dual integrated Gigabit Ethernet switches. According to a company release, each module is comprised of an STMicroelectronics’ SPEAr 1310 microprocessor with dual ARM Cortex-A9 processor cores, which with the help of PHYTEC America, integrated the SPEAr 1310 with 1 GB of DDR3 ECC DRAM, 1 GB of NAND Flash and Ethernet to form a “System-on-Module” (SOM).
With this move, ZT Systems joins Marvell and Calxeda (formerly Smooth-Stone) in trying to establish a market for servers based on ARM processors. This week, Calxeda not only announced its name-change, it also announced new hires in an effort to bring its tech to market in 2011. Although ARM dominates the mobile market via its low-power mobile chips, its presence in the server realm remains practically non-existent, despite interest from the IT community. Now that ZT Systems is in the mix, it could light a fire under bigger server vendors. That is, if Calxeda and ZT make a big enough splash and can encourage software developers think beyond x86.