Claxeda have published an ApacheBench benchmark result claiming 15x performance per Watt by the Calxeda EnergyCore ECX-1000 (Quad ARM) over over an Intel (Quad) Xeon E3-1240.
The additional notes below the result tile are quite challenging. Including..
"Even if we were to reduce the Intel Xeon’s TDP numbers by 30%, the EnergyCore solution would still provide a significant performance per watt advantage (greater than 10X)."
I am not up to speed with the details of the ApacheBench test cases, and the choice of benchmark implies that the tests are not ALU-centric, but clearly at that kind of performance under full load, the competition is hotting up.
(or is that cooling down ? )
If you are building a data center you now really need to split your h/w purchases across the demand for web services and CPU services and provide a healthy balance of both.
As we all know, power costs money ... and carbon.
The TCO reduction of 77% is a big claim.
If that is true and the benchmark extends to ALU-centric tests then Intel could be in a lot of trouble down the track if they don't respond to this in a big way.
As far as I know, AMD already have tech agreements with ARM.
I don't know if Intel have similar agreements or not.
Personally I anticipate CEO-led innovation at the design and fabrication level.
I don't see any other way that the gap can be quickly clawed back.
It will be interesting to see what comes out of this over the next 12 to 24 months.