Hewlett Packard puts mobile chips in data centers

Nov 03, 2011

Hewlett Packard (HP) sees a future in super-efficient data centers powered by the kinds of power-sipping computer chips used in smartphones and tablet computers.

The was launched in Project Moonshot, server technology that cuts complexity, energy use, and costs, according to a description at the California-based company's website on Wednesday.

"It paves the way to the future of low-energy computing for emerging web, cloud and massive scale environments," HP said of Moonshot.

As people and businesses switch to using software as services hosted in the Internet "cloud" demand is rising for data centers with tremendous or "hyperscale" capacity to handle the tsunami of digital information.

"The volume of data processed in financial markets has increased exponentially, and traditional scale-up or scale-out architectures are struggling to keep up with demand without vastly increasing cost and power usage," said Cantor Fitzgerald high frequency trading director Niall Dalton.

"HP is taking a holistic approach to solving this problem and working to bring unprecedented energy and cost savings for tomorrow's large-scale, data-intensive applications," he continued.

The global financial services firm is evaluating the HP technology.

HP making Redstone servers built with the kinds of ARM chips used in and combined with "Converged Infrastructure" technology that spreads word loads over thousands of machines.

"Companies with hyperscale environments are facing a crisis in capacity that requires a at the architectural level," said HP hyperscale business unit vice president Paul Santeler.

Moonshot provides a server development platform along with a lab for customers and partners.

HP expected its new data center approach to reduce for some types of workloads by as much as 89 percent while requiring less space for equipment and cutting costs up to 63 percent.

Critics question wether mobile gadget chips have the strength for data center needs, noting that software must be carefully crafted to divvy up workloads or risk overwhelming processors.

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Vendicar_Decarian
1 / 5 (1) Nov 03, 2011
These are essentially integer processors and should do the job well for serving web pages and other non-computationally intensive tasks where vector floating point operations aren't required - which are most tasks.

Could be very useful for AI.
ECOnservative
not rated yet Nov 03, 2011
Many small, multi-core CPUs are an ideal way to serve up large numbers of web pages and other services. Combine these with other cloud technologies and you have an answer to the datacenter power problem. Software will follow, it always does.
Vendicar_Decarian
1 / 5 (1) Nov 04, 2011
The solution to web serving now is a fewer number of high speed cores that use software virtualization to pretend to be a larger number of low speed cores.

Heat generation and cost are the primary issue with this method.

But it has the advantage of providing generally lower per thread latency as each server virtual machine is run on a per request basis and are typically idle.

HP's idea should cost less, reduce cooling costs, reduce power consumption, and still has the potential of virtualization if needed using new ARM cores.