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Sep 7, 2012

Intel Atom “Centerton” Servers, Space- and Power-Efficient Ships This Year's End




US consumers mostly care about Intel's Atom line because it is the series of low-end CPUs found in nettops, netbooks and some of the few Wintel tablets lurking around the market.

We already know that the Santa Clara, California-based company is losing the support of PC brand vendors, like ASUS and Acer. There is one side of its Atom business that doesn't appear to be suffering as much though: that of server-class chips. Though the Xeon line of CPUs is the one that heavy workloads need, Atom chips can work better in servers that need to be small and easy on the power bill. This is the reason why Intel is creating the “Centerton” class of Atom CPUs, and why Quanta QCT will ship a microserver powered by one such unit. Called Stratos S900-X31A, it won't be cooled in oil, but it will be housed in a U3 chassis and will have 24 or 48 nodes.

One of the key features of the server is that it can have 12 or 24 cable-free, independently and hot-pluggable sleds. Another is that, thanks to the power draw of less than 10W per node, the Stratos S900-X31A eats up very little energy, even though it has two nodes per sled. “Rising power costs, cooling loads and space restrictions lead our datacenter customers to demand the most efficient hardware available. They ask us for the greatest efficiency possible in a vanity-free hardware configuration that maintains 100% compatibility with the x86 software ecosystem,” said Mike Yang, general manager and vice president of Quanta QCT. “Our integrated engineering, design and manufacturing capability allows us to be among the first manufacturers to provide this solution, leveraging our longstanding partnership with Intel.”

Next week, at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, the system will be demonstrated, so visitors will get to see the 64-bit support and ECC memory in action. Speaking of which, each server node can manage 16GB of RAM, two 2.5-inch SATA HDD and two Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 ports.

Intel Atom logo
Image credits to Intel

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