ARM server pioneer Calxeda pulls plug

Chris Davies - Dec 20, 2013, 4:43pm CST
ARM server pioneer Calxeda pulls plug

ARM server startup and Intel threat Calxeda has unexpectedly shut down, after running out of cash before it could convince the enterprise that lots of smaller chips made better sense. The company had intended to steal server marketshare from under Intel’s nose by piecing together hundreds of ARM-based chips in a single system, rather than following the more traditional route of a few, high-power x86 processors. However, the financing ran down before Calxeda could meet its roadmap.

In a statement to AllThingsD, which first reported on rumors of the company’s struggles, Calxeda confirmed that it was “restructuring” having “exceeded our ability to continue to operate” as the company had intended. Although it will continue supporting EXC-2000 server projects already underway, business won’t be quite the same as before.

According to a statement sent to VentureBeat, Calxeda has closed its offices and “sent everyone home” – it later confirmed that they had been laid off – bar a few remaining people to do customer support. The company had around 130 employees, and will continue selling the EXC-2000, VP of marketing Karl Freund insists.

Freund blames unexpectedly withdrawn funding for the sudden end, with financing having “disappeared quite suddenly” leaving no time to source an alternative deal.

Calxeda had supposedly been working with at least seven hardware manufacturers, one of which was HP, on potential deployment of the ARM-based servers. It was not the only company looking to “small and many” rather than “large and few” as an alternative strategy; SeaMicro, for instance, revealed its ARM-based server plans back in 2010, and was subsequently bought by AMD in 2012.

AMD later revealed its plans to use ARM architecture for its “Seattle” server chips, building on the SeaMicro technology.

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