Austin's Calxeda looks to make hay from Web giants' shifting server demands [Austin American-Statesman]
(Austin American-Statesman (TX) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) March 09--The giant companies of the Internet are demanding -- and getting -- changes in the way computer technology is delivered to them. What they want delivered are more efficient ways to run the big data centers that make their businesses work.
And that could translate into big things for Austin chip startup Calxeda Inc., which makes low-power servers that fit the bill for the changes companies like Facebook Inc. are pushing.
Clout in the data center industry is quickly shifting to big players -- like Facebook -- that can buy thousands of servers at once. Facebook in January unveiled a project called "Group Hug," in which competing technology providers agreed to create server "motherboards" that could be quickly plugged into its data centers.
The social media company also helped create a technology group called the Open Compute Platform to help drive the computer industry toward more lower-cost and interchangeable components that can be plugged into data centers. Facebook spent more than $600 million on data centers and equipment inside them in 2011 and expected to spend another $500 million in 2012.
Four chipmakers signed on to the "Group Hug" project, including Intel Corp., the largest and richest semiconductor company and the dominant supplier of server technology. Joining Intel on the project was Austin's Calxeda, which has just over 100 employees and is only a few years removed from the Austin Technology Incubator.
"The guys who write the checks set the rules," said Karl Freund, Calxeda's vice president for marketing, in explaining Facebook's ability to make "Group Hug" a reality. "For players like us, this project should level the playing field and lower the cost of entry for large-scale data center customers who want to evaluate and deploy our technology." Along with