ARM-server chip pioneer Calxeda to shut down

By Graeme Burton
20 Dec 2013 View Comments
Calxeda ECX-2000 ARM-based server SoC

Calxeda, one of the companies bidding to design ARM microprocessors for servers, is shutting down after burning through more than $90m in venture funding.

The company is laying off 125 of its employees after Calxeda president Barry Evans confirmed the news on Thursday. The company is undergoing a "radical restructuring", according to sources, with a fire-sale of assets the likely outcome.

Further reading

The company had been founded in 2008 to develop ARM-based server microprocessors and systems-on-a-chip.

But Calxeda was arguably too early into the market. Although partnering with Hewlett-Packard and Dell to sell servers based on its ARM designs, the first 32-bit microprocessors were not powerful enough, even for the web-based applications they were most suitable for, and lacked compatible software.

While the company was expected to launch more powerful systems based on ARM's 64-bit architecture in 2014, the industry had arguably caught up, with Intel's big rival AMD now planning to produce ARM designs for servers too.

In addition to AMD, Applied Micro Systems, Nvidia, Marvell Technology and Samsung are all planning to produce ARM server microprocessor products.

The company raised funding from a variety of sources, including Battery Ventures, Austin Ventures, Vulcan Capital, Highland Capital and Advanced Technology Investment Company, the Abu Dhabi-based investment fund, as well as ARM itself. Its last funding round was only in October 2012, when it raised $55m in a Series C round of financing.

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