The use of processors originally designed for portable devices with an extremely low power draw in servers is rapidly gathering pace, with all the major chip companies getting in on the act - including AMD.
We've already seen the SM10000 server
, which stuffs 512 Atom processors into its 10U casing to perform large quantities of small, independent tasks, while back in 2009 Dell announced it was to launch a Via Nano-based server
. Even ARM - better known for its presence in the embedded computing and smartphone markets - is looking towards servers with the addition of virtualisation extensions
to the Eagle chip.
So far, the only company not
represented in the netbook-server-crossover sector is AMD - but the company's Bobcat processor could change all that. According to iTWorld
, AMD's Donald Newell has confirmed the company's plans to make design a Bobcat processor for the server market - going so far as to state that AMD is "definitely in the process of examining this as a design point - it would be foolish not to.
AMD has long been under-represented in the low-power processor sector, with very few CULV designs and nothing suitable for use in a netbook - but the company's Bobcat design - which we previewed
earlier this week - looks set to change that, and possibly let the company compete at a whole new end of the server market.
Do you believe that many-core, low-power servers could truly be the battleground of the future, or are they only suitable for very specific tasks - and therefore targeting a very small and increasingly crowded market? Share your thoughts over in the forums