Quanta to ship low-power Atom server by year-end

Quanta QCT's Stratos S900-X31A will run on Intel's Atom chips code-named Centerton

Quanta QCT on Thursday announced a new low-power cloud server based on Intel's upcoming Atom processor code-named Centerton, and said the server would ship by the end of this year.

The Stratos S900-X31A is the second major server to be announced based on the 64-bit Centerton chip. In June, HP announced a new server as part of its Gemini server platform that will use Centerton, in addition to processors based on other architectures.

Low-power servers are drawing interest as an energy-efficient way to handle certain large-scale workloads, such as big data applications and Web transactions. Atom processors are usually found in low-power laptops and tablets, and companies have also been experimenting with servers based on ARM processors, which are found in most tablets and smartphones. Advanced Micro Devices is offering a SeaMicro server with Atom processors, and HP and Dell are offering ARM-based servers for testing purposes.

Quanta's microserver will have 24 or 48 nodes in a 3U chassis. It will consume less than 10 watts per node and offer better performance-per-watt than traditional 1U single-socket servers, according to Quanta.

Some industry observers believe a collection of lower-power "wimpy" cores, such as Atom or ARM, offer better performance-per-watt for some online workloads than "brawny" cores, such as Intel's Xeon or AMD's Opteron.

Intel's Centerton processor draws 6 watts of power, and the company next year plans to launch a new Atom server chip code-named Avoton, which will be made using the 22-nanometer process.

Quanta will show its Atom server at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco next week. Intel is expected to shed more light on its low-power server processor and network fabric strategy at the show, as it looks to improve the bandwidth and performance of x86 servers while cutting power consumption.

Quanta QCT is a subsidiary of Taiwan's Quanta Computer, one of the world's largest contract server makers. Quanta established the Quanta QCT subsidiary in May to sell branded data center products in the U.S.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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