Quanta QCT has announced a new low-power cloud server based on Intel's upcoming 'Centerton' Atom processor, and said the server would ship by the end of this year.

The Stratos S900-X31A is the second major server to be announced based on the 64-bit Centerton chip. In June, HP announced a new server as part of its Gemini server platform that will use Centerton, in addition to processors based on other architectures.

Low-power servers are drawing interest as an energy-efficient way to handle certain large-scale workloads, such as Big Data applications and web transactions. Atom processors are usually found in low-power laptops and tablets, and companies have also been experimenting with servers based on ARM processors, which are found in most tablets and smartphones. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is offering a SeaMicro server with Atom processors, and HP and Dell are offering ARM-based servers for testing purposes.

Quanta's microserver will have 24 or 48 nodes in a 3U chassis. It will consume less than 10 watts per node and offer better performance-per-watt than traditional 1U single-socket servers, according to Quanta.

Some industry observers believe a collection of lower-power "wimpy" cores, such as Atom or ARM, offer better performance-per-watt for some online workloads than "brawny" cores, such as Intel's Xeon or AMD's Opteron.

Intel's Centerton processor draws 6 watts of power, and the company next year plans to launch a new Atom server chip code-named Avoton, which will be made using the 22-nanometre process.

Quanta will show its Atom server at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco next week. Intel is expected to shed more light on its low-power server processor and network fabric strategy at the show, as it looks to improve the bandwidth and performance of x86 servers while cutting power consumption.

Quanta QCT is a subsidiary of Taiwan's Quanta Computer, one of the world's largest contract server makers. Quanta established the Quanta QCT subsidiary in May to sell branded data centre products in the US.