Wed, Jun 06, 2012 - Page 12 News List

MiTAC unveils ARM-based server

WELL-SERVED:The ARM-based processors are cheaper than Intel chips, and are suited for applications that do not require high CPU performance, such as social media

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Local computer maker MiTAC International Corp (神達) yesterday unveiled its first server powered by ARM-based chips, in a bid to expand its presence in the growing server market driven by cloud-computing technology.

With its launch during the annual Computex computer show, MiTAC led local peers in showcasing its first server in collaboration with the UK patent licenser ARM Holdings PLC, after selling servers powered by Intel Corp’s chips over the past decade.

It was also the first time ARM had publicly displayed a server in Asia.

“MiTAC keeps developing innovative server systems and by working with our partners, we are able to assist our customers to build highly differentiated platforms in a more efficient and effective way,” MiTAC president Bill Ho (何繼武) said in a joint press release.

“The new ARM process-based servers expand MiTAC’s cloud services business roadmap,” Ho said.

MiTAC is scheduled to ship the new server next quarter at the earliest. The company intends to sell the machine for e-mail services, messaging, social media and other applications.

Because ARM has integrated several chips into one, the server is half the size of those powered by Intel chips. It also consumes 50 percent less power.

ARM has been in talks with other local original design manufacturers (ODM), such as Quanta Computer Inc (廣達), Wistron Corp (緯創) and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海) for a tie-up to produce servers, Ian Ferguson, director of ARM’s Data Center Solutions, told a media briefing.

“When your computer needs to do a lot of calculations, that’s the better world for Intel, but when you look at social media or Web servers, those boxes do not need much CPU performance. That is where we are focusing,” Ferguson said.

“We think that sort of box is appropriate for companies like Alibaba (阿里巴巴) and Tencent Holdings Ltd (騰訊). It’s not something that will go into HSBC bank,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson said Taiwanese companies could benefit from the growth in the cloud-computing technology and server market.

ARM collects 1 or 1.5 percent of the price of ARM-based chips, he said.

“When the chips are that price, compared with those of Intel, you can save more money. And the money could come to Taiwan,” he said.

Large companies such as social media Web site Facebook and Baidu.com Inc (百度), China’s most-used Internet search site, with lots of volume, can now get technology directly from Taiwanese companies, which can make servers quicker and cheaper than big companies in the US, such as Hewlett-Packard or Dell, Ferguson said.

He said Taiwanese companies could be profitable by offering products with innovation and customization.

ARM expects the first server to hit the market in the second half of this year and it aims to take 20 percent of the world’s server market by 2015, primarily from Intel, which has a dominant 93 percent share.

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