Calxeda, the company that pioneered the concept of making corporate data center computers run on the same low-power chips that power your smartphone, has closed its doors, executives told Business Insider.
“We have not filed for bankruptcy. We are restructuring and will know more as that process progresses. In the meantime, we are closing the office to preserve cash,” Karl Freund, vice president of marketing for Calxeda told Business Insider.
We have pressed Freund for details on how many employees are affected and if any are being laid off. We will update when he responds. Calxeda, based in Austin, Texas, has about 100 employees, according to its LinkedIn profile.
It recently partnered with Hewlett-Packard on HP’s innovative Moonshot servers. However, HP also sells a version of those servers that use low-power chips from Intel.
Beyond that, Calxeda faced problems getting widespread acceptance for its technology. It built its chips using designs from ARM Holding, the same designs used by Apple for the iPhone chips, (for instance the iPhone’s A6 or A7 chip are ARM chips).
However, Calxeda used a format called 32-bit. Most enterprise software is written for 64-bit, so not a lot of enterprise software worked with Calxeda.
ARM Holding recently created new designs for a 64-bit chip, but Calxeda couldn’t get its version manufactured before 2014, and it simply ran out of cash, Linley Gwennap, principal of the market watcher Linley Group, told EE Times’ Rick Merritt.
The saddest part of this story is that Google is rumoured to be designing its own 64-bit low-power servers. That was a double-edged sword. It means that Calxeda, a trailblazer in the field, would finally be validated. If Google uses that technology than others will follow suit.
But it also means that one of the biggest potential customers wouldn’t need to buy chips from Calxeda or anyone and other big data center customers (Facebook, for instance) could potentially follow suit.
Here’s the full statement that Calxeda sent to us:
Over the last few years, Calxeda has been a driving force in the industry for low power server processors and fabric-based computing.
The concept of a fabric of ARM-based servers challenging the industry giants was not on anyone¹s radar screen when we started this journey.
Now it is a foregone conclusion that the industry will be transformed forever.
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.
During this process, we remain committed to our customer¹s success with ECX-2000 projects that are now underway.
Calxeda is proud of what we have accomplished, the partners who have collaborated with us, the investors who supported us, and the visionary customers who have encouraged us and inspired us along the
We will update you as we conclude our restructuring process. In the meantime, we want to thank you personally for your interest and enthusiastic support. Its been an amazing journey.
Energy, matter, and innovation are never lost, just reassembled. We look forward to the inevitable application of our ideas.