Clever Seamicro server influences Intel's 64-bit Atom N570

Server company Seamicro caused a bit of a stir last year with a product featuring 512 of Intel’s Atom processors, and it appears that it did not go unnoticed by the chip giant.

While processors used to power netbooks may not sound like the most impressive option, it appears that the many customers who demanded one were not put off by the name, with the firm reporting a backlog of orders.

By strapping together low end processors, Seamicro was able to complete less intensive tasks without having to use the high powered Xeon chip.

Seamicro was rather ingeniously able to put together a system 17.5 inches tall that does the work of 40 Xeon processors, while taking up about a fourth of the space and power required, a massive appeal to certain customers where these two factors are of paramount importance.

The one problem with the cunning plan has been that the Atom chips are 32-bit, while many customers require a 64-bit version.

But with Intel’s N570 chip released, Seamicro will be able to see half the number of Atoms, with each one able to utilise 4Gb of memory, twice the amount of the first machine. It has been customised specifically for Seamicro.

The new server, named the SM10000-64, is currently available in a number of locations including the US, starting at $148,000.

“We now address every last corner of the market,” said Feldman

Intel noted the pivotal role that Seamicro has played in developing the chip.

While Jason Waxman, general Manager of Intel’s data centre group, maintains that the chip has not just been created for use by the server firm, he says that Seamicro  “absolutely” influenced the design of the chip, according to the WSJ.

The 64-bit Atom chip means that Intel has stolen a march on ARM which has indicated that it will be developing a similar architecture.

Warren East reportedly said “it’s logical to assume that at some stage in the future, ARM will extend its architecture” to 64 bits, though a large chunk of the server market is already available to the company.