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  • Startup SeaMicro First To Use New Intel Chip

    A Silicon Valley startup is now selling a microprocessor that was custom-tailored for Intel.

    Upstart: Gamechangers

    A Silicon Valley startup selling a new style of server system now has another unusual selling point–a microprocessor that was all but custom-tailored for the company by Intel.

    SeaMicro, a closely held company in Santa Clara, Calif., attracted attention last year by reversing the priorities of most computer makers. Instead of focusing on greater performance for all kinds of computing jobs, the company tailored its servers for a narrower set of Internet-type chores while conserving electrical power and space–two big issues for companies building out computer rooms.

    The startup passed up Intel’s mainstream offering for servers, a chip called Xeon that is a workhorse for companies around the around the world. SeaMicro took the tiny, relatively low-powered Atom chip–best known for use in inexpensive laptop computers called netbooks–and packaged it for use in data centers.

    The resulting system, which packs 512 Atom chips into a box 17.5 inches tall, does the work of 40 conventional Xeon servers while using one-fourth the power and one-fourth the space, SeaMicro says. That formula, the company adds, has appealed to many customers, with tens of millions of Internet users already being served using SeaMicro gear.

    “We’ve been killing it,” says Andrew Feldman, SeaMicro’s chief executive. “We are in a back-order situation.”

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    Filed Under: Gamechangers


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