Intel challenger Smooth-Stone changes name to Calxeda

Smooth-Stone, a well-heeled start-up looking to make a name for itself by producing much more energy efficient server processors than established players like AMD and Intel, has changed its name to Calxeda.

The change to Calxeda --  a Latin form of Smooth-Stone -- came about to reflect the company’s global market strategy, according to the start-up, which Network World last month named as one of its 25 New IT Companies to Watch.  (It also should reduce any confusion between the company and Smoothstone, a unified communications company that we’ve also written about, as well as other outfits with similar names.)

Also read: IT startups rake in $320 million in venture funding

Calxeda, which is building low-power alternatives to Intel and AMD chips that use smartphone microprocessors, also announced a beefed-up management team. It now includes:  Vice President of Marketing Karl Freund, formerly VP of System z Mainframe strategy and marketing at IBM; Vice President of Business Development and Sales Bob Baughman, ex-VP of product management of a $700 million revenue video solutions group at Polycom as well as a member of its Microsoft partnership team; and VP of Manufacturing Steve Beatty, formerly with Freescale.

Calxeda representatives will venture away from new corporate headquarters in Austin to do the rounds at this week’s Supercomputing 10 conference in New Orleans, talking up the need for more efficient hardware platforms to support more advanced applications in cloud computing.

Company CEO Barry Evans said in a statement: "We believe the solution requires [an] order of magnitude improvement, literally ten times the energy efficiency, for half the price. This is within our reach, with technologies like we are building at Calxeda, where we expect early OEM designs in the first half of 2011.  The response from potential customers, technology partners and the industry overall validates we are onto something big."

Calxeda, then Smooth-Stone, made a splash in August when it announced $48 million in first round venture funding from a group of investors that includes chip makers Arm Holdings, Texas Instruments and ATIC (Advanced Technology Investment Company), the major investor in GlobalFoundries.

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