So how many Xeon processors and how much RAM can you squeeze into a single rack? If you're SeaMicro, the answer is 256 and over 2 TB. That's a lot of computing power in a small space, and SeaMicro is doing it with the best energy efficiency possible. With 1024 Xeon cores (2048 threads), and all that memory, that's a lot of computing power, even though the Xeons are the energy efficient E3-1260L, the Quad-core Xeon designed to use only 45W with a clock of 2.4 GHz, less than half the thermal design power (TDW) of the higher performing Xeon E3-1235, which has basically the same feature set with a 3.2GHz clock and TDW of 95W.
These SM10000-XE microservers, which can also support up to 64 SATA disks or SSDs without reducing the CPU density as well as up to 16 10 GbE or 64 1 GbE ports in the same rack are a similar, but higher performance solution than SeaMicro's original SM10000-HD server solution which was based around Intel's very low end Atom CPU. By moving to the Sandy Bridge Xeon processor they have delivered a scale-out solution for customers needing the higher performance CPUs while trying to control energy consumption and space utilization within the datacenter. By utilizing Samsung's low energy consumption Green DDR3, they have tried to minimize the most common energy sinks in their servers.
SeaMicro's own Freedom fabric ASIC is the key component to interconnecting all these CPUs, memory, and storage at a very high speed with low latency. The same fabric is used in their Atom CPU based offerings.
This design takes microservers in a new direction. With their original idea being to use low-power, low capability CPUs in large numbers to take on workloads that traditionally didn't require a lot of CPU power, SeaMicro has switched directions in an attempt to bring the energy and space savings concepts to a part of the datacenter market with a need for higher performance servers that can still minimize datacenter energy and space utilization.