Dell will reportedly use Via Technologies chips in select low-power servers.
According to the New York Times' Ashlee Vance, Dell will unveil a system that has 12 full servers running on Via's Nano chip. Each server will consumer 15 watts of power.
Dell is expected to unveil the Via-powered systems this week.
For Via, Dell would be a huge win. Via is a player in the netbook market, but Intel and AMD own the server market. Dell will pitch these servers to Web-hosting companies. However, don't expect much in the way of performance.
Running at just 1.3GHz or 1.6GHz, the Via chips sit very low on the performance totem pole when it comes to server chips. But it's the chip's lower speed and other architecture tweaks helps it keep power consumption and costs low. For example, the new Dell servers cost less than US$400 a pop, which is just a fraction of the cost of a typical server.
AMD and Intel are likely to scoff at such performance, but for Via, Dell is a big win that may lead to more customers.
For the first quarter, IDC reports that Via had a market share of 0.4 percent compared to Intel and AMD's 77.3 percent and 22.3 percent, respectively. In the mobile market, Via had market share of 0.7 percent.
This article was first published as a blog post on ZDNet.