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Red Herring: Transmeta's chips charge into servers

Jan 16, 2001, 16:46 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Justin Hibbard)

"This year, at least four companies will release servers based on Transmeta's Crusoe processors. These aren't upright tower servers; they are slim, pizza box-shaped units designed to be stacked in racks. Rack servers formed the fastest-growing segment of the Intel-based server market last year, according to the market research firm IDC. Their main requirements are low power and low heat, which just happen to be Crusoe's strong suits...."

"A space crunch in data centers worldwide is fueling demand for so-called dense servers, which are designed to squeeze as many processors into as small a box as possible. The densest Intel-based machines from companies like Dell Computer, Compaq Computer, and VA Linux Systems cram two Pentiums into one unit of rack space (about 1.7-by-17.6-by-22 inches). Because standard six-foot racks contain 42 units, that's a total of 84 chips per rack...."

"Why don't Dell and Compaq cram more Pentiums into their boxes? The chips generate so much heat that adding more could bake the computers from inside. Processors get hot when they consume lots of electricity. Hence low-power chips like Transmeta's Crusoe are well suited for dense servers. What's more, they can potentially slash a data center's electricity bill."

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