Boston announces ultra low power Calxeda ARM server platform

High performance server company Boston has announced an ultra low power computing platform, running on the Calxeda ARM EnergyCore SoCs, that it believes will transform the server market.

Boston claims its Viridis Project, which operates outside of the traditional x86 processors, will provide a new approach to highly parallel low power computing. It has introduced a self contained multi node cluster, with high speed interconnects and storage, all inside a 2U rack mount appliance.

There are 48 nodes up for grabs in a 2U enclosure, which means, claims Boston, up to 900 servers per industry standard 42U rack. Boston believes its tech offers roughly 10 times the performance per watt compared to other processors on the market today.

With the Viridis Project, Boston hopes to really shake up the server market by operating at the ultra low power end.The company says the server appliance can provide data centre performance all while running on power comparable to a mobile device. That saves on space and operational costs but still brings in the muscle. 

Partly to thank is Calxeda’s ultra efficient EnergyCard. There are four quad core EnergyCore SocS woven into local fabric, forming a multi server cluster, meaning Boston’s platform can be expanded with extra cards. Each board exposes up to eight 10GbE fabric links and SATA to a passive system board.

EnergyCore server chassis have a base system board with one, or more, slots available for Calxeda EnergyCards – so boosting computing might means adding in another card as needed. 

MD of Boston, Manoj Nayee, says the market is certainly there for non-x86, ultra low power options: “Boston has been inundated with requests for highly efficient, scalable hardware that provide increased power savings over the current technologies,” Nayee said. Calxeda’s approach means a server on chip that runs at just 5W on the heaviest load.

Boston plans to make the platform available to interested partners soon, and will give them access to the technology for testing, benchmarking and code optimisation at its labs.