ARM server SoC firm Calxeda shuts down, lays off staffers

Remember Calxeda? Back in 2011, HP announced plans to partner up with the Austin, Texas-based startup in order to produce ARM-powered servers. Now, just over two years later, AllThingsD reports that Calxeda has "effectively ceased operations."

Word initially came from AllThingsD's "sources," who said the company "ran out of runway" after failing to get additional funding. Calxeda Marketing VP Karl Freund later confirmed the shutdown, stating in part:

Now it's time to tackle the next challenge. Carrying the load of industry pioneer has exceeded our ability to continue to operate as we had envisioned. We wanted to let you know that Calxeda has begun a restructuring process.

In a separate statement to the Wall Street Journal, Freund said "most" of Calxeda's 130 staffers are being let go.

Freund also told AllThingsD that Calxeda will "remain committed to our customer's success with ECX-2000 projects that are now underway." The EnergyCore ECX-2000 is Calxeda's series of ARM-based systems-on-a-chip. These SoCs have quad Cortex-A15 32-bit processor cores, hardware virtualization capabilities, and built-in Fleet Fabric networking switches with 80Gbps of aggregate bandwidth.

Calxeda's partnership with HP involved Project Moonshot, an initiative to build high-density, power-efficient servers. Today, however, HP offers Moonshot "server cartridges" with Atom C2750, Atom S1260, and Opteron X2150 processors—all 64-bit solutions.

As the Wall Street Journal points out, the fact that Calxeda's SoCs lacked 64-bit addressing impeded their adoption. The paper quotes analyst Patrick Moorhead as saying that there is a market for ARM-based server technology, but Calxeda was "too early." One of the companies about to jump in that market, incidentally, is AMD. As we reported a few months ago, AMD plans to release Seattle, a 64-bit server chip based on ARM's Cortex-A57 architecture, next year.

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