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HP Announces First 64-Bit ARM Moonshot Server

By Sean Michael Kerner (Send Email)
Posted September 29, 2014


Hewlett-Packard (HP) has been talking about its Moonshot project since November of 2011 as an effort to build out high-density data center servers.

Back in 2011, Moonshot was all about ARM Cortex processors, powered by Calxeda. Calxeda no longer exists, but the ARM dream is still alive.

While the initial Calxeda ARM-based Moonshot servers were 32-bit systems, a pair of new systems announced by HP today are 64-bit architectures, HP Moonshot Servers using technology from Applied Micro. HP has been hinting since October of 2013 that it would have 64-bit ARM server at some point in 2014.

The new 64-bit system is the HP ProLiant m400 and leverages the Applied Micro X-Gene Server-on-a-Chip (SoC) architecture. AMD's X-Gene is a 64-bit silicon that includes ARMv8 cores that can run at up to 2.4 GHz.

In addition to the new 64-bit ARM-based Moonshot servers, HP is adding a new 32-bit ARM server to its portfolio as well. The HP ProLiant m800 is a 32-bit ARM server and uses Texas Instruments Keystone 66AK2Hx SoCs.

The Keystone SoC includes four ARM Cortex A15 cores and integrated DSPs (Digital Signal Processors).

The new HP ProLiant ARM servers will expand HP's Moonshot existing portfolio, which also includes Intel x86-based systems. Among those system is the HP Moonshot 1500 chassis and the M300 Moonshot modules.

"ARM technology will change the dynamics of how enterprises build IT solutions to quickly address customer challenges," Antonio Neri, senior vice president and general manager, Servers and Networking at HP, said in a statement.

The new and existing Moonshot servers work with the Canonical Ubuntu Linux operating system. Canonical was one of the first operating systems vendors to jump on the ARM bandwagon following the announcement in 2011 of the HP Moonshot effort with Calxeda.

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