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June 14, 2010

SeaMicro Reveals 512 Intel Atom Chip Supercomputer

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SeaMicro, a startup, announced today it has created a server with 512 Intel Atom chips that gets supercomputer performance but uses 75 percent less power and space than current servers.
The power comparison is against regular Intel and AMD chips, but there are computers running Nvidia GPGPUs and Tilera 64-core chips and cell processors and FPGAs and Tensilica chips that also achieve high performance with more energy efficiency.

Samples of SeaMicro’s SM10000 servers are available today and they will be broadly available on July 30 for $139,000 each. These machines have 512 Intel Atom processors, — all in a server that is just 17.5 inches high, or about a quarter of the space of a typical server rack. It requires no custom software and works in “plug and play” manner with any x86 (Intel-compatible) server data center. You can use x86 or other architecture chips as well, such as ARM


The company has raised $25 million in two rounds of funding. It was founded by veterans of companies such as Cisco Systems, Juniper Networks, Sun Microsystems, Intel and Advanced Micro Devices. Its backers include Khosla Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Crosslink Capital. SeaMicro also won a $9.3 million grant from the Department of Energy. That was the largest grant awarded to a server company.

If you ran a bunch of servers at 100 percent capacity for four years in order to hit a computing task target known as Specint 100,000, you would spend about $1.5 million using Dell servers. Using SeaMicro, you would spend about $428,000. That’s more than $1 million in savings


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