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Transmeta 1 GHz Crusoe Boosts RLX Blade

By Michael Singer (Send Email)
Posted Dec 18, 2002


Texas-based RLX Technologies Monday released a new blade server line featuring a 1 GHz Crusoe chip from Transmeta. RLX Technologies this week released a new blade server line featuring a 1 GHz Crusoe chip from Transmeta.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Transmeta said its TM5800 processor, which debuted in July 2002, will be used in RLX's ServerBlade 1000t. The slim server starts at $1,329, and includes 128 MB of integrated DDR RAM and 512 MB of SDR RAM. Configurations with up to 1 GB of RAM and up to two 60 GB drives are available. The RLX 300ex chassis, a 3U chassis holding up to 24 1000t blades, is $3,299.

The RLX ServerBlade 1000t supports Linux, Windows 2000 Server, and Windows 2000 Advanced Server. The curious thing about the partnership is that Crusoe semiconductors are usually found in devices that run on low power, such as Tablet PCs or laptops.

The 1 GHz Crusoe chip is nearly 50 percent quicker than Intel's faster low-consumption chip for laptops, and twice as quick as Intel's lowest-drain chips. The processor is made using 0.13 micron processing and carries a core voltage of 0.9-1.3V, down from the 1.1-1.6V in previous models.

"This high density, Crusoe-based blade continues to provide our customers with a solution that pushes the density and performance envelope," said RLX CTO Bob Van Steenberg. "These cool-running, energy efficient 1000t blades allow our customers to deploy or expand existing server farms with no need to increase power resources to operate and cool them."

RLX expects to sell a great many ServerBlade 1000ts because of the 1 GHz processor's compatiblity with the existing RLX 300ex chassis and the fact that it can be mixed and matched in the same chassis. For example, 24 RLX 1000t blade servers can be housed in the RLX 300ex chassis, offering a total density of 336 servers, compared with 42 1U servers in an industry-standard 42U rack.

The company has already installed several of the servers inside Los Alamos National Laboratory 's "Green Machine."

"Due to the dusty, hot and confined environment that our computing platforms operate in, density and power consumption were critical considerations in the construction of our 480-node Green Machine compute cluster," said Dr. Wu-chun Feng, leader of the RADIANT team at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Transmeta is currently looking in Europe for more OEMs for its chips where competitors Intel and AMD fear to tread. The company is also gearing up for the launch of its next chip, the Astro -- or Transmeta 8000 -- scheduled to be released in 2003.

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