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Chip designer Calxeda shutters

Struggling ARM-oriented server chip designer ceases operations on Thursday as companies eye its IP portfolio.


One of the first companies to enter the ARM server chip businesses closed its doors Thursday, laying off its 125-person strong workforce and putting its intellectual property portfolio up for grabs.

“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 way,” Barry Evans, company President, said in a statement. “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. Energy, matter, and innovation are never lost, just reassembled. We look forward to the inevitable application of our ideas.”

Calxeda launched in 2008 as Smooth-Stone with $100 million in financing from a herd of companies including ARM. In 2011, as Calxeda, it announced that it was developing a 480-core ARM-based chip based on its ECX-1000 architecture to go into Hewlett Packard’s low power server project called Moonshot.

Despite Calxeda’s insistence that it could take on the likes of Intel in the expanding low power server market, HP’s Moonshot never really made orbit and Calxeda had to compete with rising competitors from SeaMicro and AMD. The nail in Calxeda’s coffin was likely AMD’s takeover of SeaMicro and the upcoming launch of its ARM-based Seattle chip. In the end after failing to get any notable hardware wins other than Moonshot, Calxeda simply ran out of money, as it wasn’t able to secure any financing after a $55 million in a Series C round investment in October of 2012.

For now, Calxeda’s intellectual property remains up in the air. There could be a fierce bidding war for what remains, so creditors won’t be completely at a loss when the company winds up.


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