In the server space Intel is undisputedly king, with its chips inside more than nine in 10 servers shipped. But as the microserver market grows, so does the potential area of opportunity for UK chip designer ARM, which hopes to exploit its expertise in creating low-power chips for mobile devices.
Microservers are targeted at light workloads such as serving static HTML content. These small servers generally have a power consumption of below 45W and can be densely packed to scale up capacity and meet demand.
Early ARM-based microserver boards have been based around its 32-bit Cortex-A9, such as the Calxeda EnergyCore boards used in HP's microserver test platform in its Project Moonshot initiative.
ARM's entry proper into server space will begin towards the end of this year when AppliedMicro releases the X-Gene platform, the 64-bit ARM-based microserver board.