Dell Selects VIA Nano CPUs For Unique New Server

With Intel getting hit with that massive $1.45 billion fine this past week, it's got the whole technology industry thinking about the ins and outs of antitrust. Granted, we fully expect that Dell has had this here deal cooking for some time now, but the timing of this introduction is almost poetic. For the longest while, Dell has offered processors from Intel, a few from AMD and... well, that's about it. Starting next, all that changes.

According to a new report from The New York Times, the Texas-based PC maker is gearing up to unveil a new, unique system that uses a dozen full servers running on chips from none other than VIA. In fact, the strange device will utilize rarely seen but energy-efficient VIA Nano chips in a 3.5" high case, which is three times as many servers as Dell typically shoves into similarly small systems. Naturally, Dell plans to push the power saving aspect, with each server consuming just 15 to 30 watts of power -- or right around one tenth the power of an ordinary server.

We know what you're thinking, and you're right: "A VIA a sever?" Typically, the Nano has been reserved for low-cost, low-power machines that do little more than power PCs designed for Word processing and e-mail checking. We're told that this device, which will officially be known as XS11-VX8, will be aimed at specialized applications. Specifically, it'll be marketed towards companies that buy hundreds upon hundreds of servers to support Web site hosting, and it can only be procured via a special group within Dell that makes custom hardware for bulk-order customers.

Just to refresh your memory, a typical VIA Nano runs at just 1.3GHz or 1.6GHz, but it'll help keep the cost of this new product under $400 each. It's expected that these servers will have plenty of power to handle the few tasks that are put on them: accept a click, do the redirect and keep web surfers on the right track. Sounds so easy, doesn't it?