ZT Systems announced what it says is the first commercially available ARM-based development platform for the server market. The Ubuntu Linux-based R1801e 1U rackmount server employs SSD (solid state disk) storage and eight ARM Cortex-A9-based computer-on-modules (COMs), providing 16 600MHz cores while using less than 80 Watts, the company says.
ZT Systems has previously specialized in x86 servers using Intel Xeon or AMD Opteron CPUs. Now, it's giving ARM a try, via Phytec COMs equipped with SPEAr1310 Cortex-A9-based system-on-chips (SoCs) from STMicroelectronics (ST).
The key motivator is ARM's superior energy consumption. Data centers spend billions on electricity for servers, including energy used for cooling, and they have a significant CO2 emission footprint, say the partners. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), data centers account for 1.5 percent of total U.S. electricity consumption at a cost of $4.5 billion annually, an amount that is expected to almost double over the next five years.