Calxeda Rides Again Courtesy of Taiwan

29 December 2014

ARM-based server processor technology developed by startup Calxeda Inc. – which closed its doors on Dec. 24, 2013 – is set to make it to market courtesy of a cloud service company called AtGames Holdings Ltd. (Taipei, Taiwan).

Silver Lining Systems Ltd., a subsidiary of AtGames that develops, makes and sells servers and storage systems, has announced that a "partner company" acquired Calxeda's intellectual property in mid-2014 and that its server and storage products make use of integrated layer two switching fabric developed at Calxeda.

While Silver Lining does not explicitly mention the partner company that has acquired the Calxeda IP, it goes on to say that it is partnering with Foxconn's Cloud Enterprise Solution Business Group. Foxconn is based known as a major contract manufacturer of electronic systems such as Apple's iPhone. It is also reported that ARM Holdings plc (Cambridge, England), the developer of the basic processor architecture is partner with Silver Lining.

So it remains unclear whether the Calxeda IP resides with AtGames, with Foxconn or ARM. It is also unclear whether Silver Lining Systems will only make use of Calxeda SoCs within its products or will also make Calxeda silicon available to third parties and continue to develop the silicon and take it up to 64-bit addressing.

Calxeda was one of the first companies to produce an ARM-based chip aimed at server applications. It launched the ECX-1000, a quad-core Cortex-A9 processor, in 2011 and attracted interest from Hewlett Packard for its Project Moonshot family of servers.

However Calxeda remained stuck at the 32-bit level while competitors such as Applied Micro and Cavium were overtaking it with 64-bit ARM chips. Calxeda said it planned to produce its first 64-bit chip, the quad-core Lago, in 2014 but ran out of funds at the end of 2013. Meanwhile Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and Marvell Technology have announced server chips and Qualcomm has announced an intention to enter the server market (see Qualcomm Set To Enter Server Market).

In October 2013 Calxeda launched its Midway ECX-2000 processor which included quad-core Cortex-A15 and a dual-core Cortex-A7. As the business closed Calxeda said it would continue to support customers working on ECX-2000 projects during a "restructuring."

The first products based on the Calxeda technology are expected to come from Silver Lining Systems early in 2015, according to reports.

Related links and articles:

IHS Technology Semiconductor & Components Page

News articles:

ARM Server Pioneer Calxeda Closes

ARM Server Chips Start to Roll

Qualcomm Set To Enter Server Market

Cavium Goes 48-core With ARM Server SoC

AMD Launches 'Seattle' 64-bit ARM Server Processor

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