Press Releases

PHYTEC Teams with ZT Systems and STMicroelectronics to Deliver the First ARM Powered® Server to the Market

Seattle, WA – November 30, 2010
PHYTEC design services fast-track an ARM®based server with a ground breaking maximum power draw of less than 80 Watts.

PHYTEC America has teamed with ZT Systems and STMicroelectronics to deliver the world’s first commercially-available software development platform utilizing low power ARM processor technology for the server market. The R1801e server solution is a breakthrough for energy efficiency and density that addresses both the economic and ecological impact of data centers with tremendous potential.

The R1801e 1U rack mount server supports up to eight custom-designed PHYTEC System On Modules (SOMs). Each SOM supports a dual-core ARM Cortex™ A9, providing up to 16 processor cores per server. The SOMs plug into an innovative system backplane that provides power and I/O. A fully populated server with eight modules, eight SSDs, dual integrated Gigabit Ethernet switches and system management, has a system maximum power draw of less than 80 Watts.

Each SOM Features:

  • STMicroelectronics SPEAr1310 dual-core ARM Cortex™ A9
  • Ubuntu Server OS
  • 1 GB DDR3-1066 ECC Memory
  • 1 GB Nand-Flash
  • 3Gbps SATA
  • USB Device and Host
  • 1 Gigabit Ethernet
  • Power Regulation and Supervising

Traditional servers deliver significant processing strength at the expense of tremendous power consumption; a large amount of electricity is required to power these servers and cooling systems. As a result, data centers cost billions to operate and have a significant CO2 emission footprint. In a recent announcement from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Data centers use a significant amount of energy, accounting for 1.5 percent of total U.S. electricity consumption at a cost of $4.5 billion annually, an amount that is expected to almost double over the next five years.” The R1801e paves a path for server solutions to address the growing concern and demand for more power efficient data centers and demonstrates that low power ARM processors are ready for evaluation and software development work, as well as data center deployment.

The ZT Systems R1801e targets the rapidly growing internet-centric segment of the data center server market, which includes companies that do not require power hungry 64-bit processors to handle and serve data. The system uses an industry standard chassis, ATX power supply and SATA drive bank so it fits into existing lab and development environments. Customers interested in test driving the potential of ARM based servers will find that this product has the right balance of features and scalability to enable software development, porting, and ARM-based server concept evaluation.

Casey Cerretani, Director of Engineering at ZT Systems states, “PHYTEC’s skill in ARM-based board-level design allowed us to fast track the R1801e product development effort. Our initial project meeting with PHYTEC was in April of 2010. By July we had an initial server prototype in place running Ubuntu Linux. This aggressive schedule could only be achieved by leveraging not only PHYTEC’s hardware design expertise, but their ability to expertly carry out complex system design in minimal time.”

“Data centers will play an increasingly vital role in the transmission of information within the global economy,” states Tom Walker, Director of PHYTEC America. “PHYTEC is excited to have significantly contributed to the development of a server platform at the forefront of new technology that can significantly reduce the economic and environmental impact of data centers.”

PHYTEC will continue to work with ZT Systems to develop innovative server products using ARM building blocks that provide end customers with datacenter servers that are best in class in terms of power, performance and overall cost.

For more information on PHYTEC embedded hardware and software design services, please contact PHYTEC at


In nearly 25 years of operations, PHYTEC has earned a reputation for high quality design, production and integration support of OEM-able System On Module (SOM) subassemblies and Rapid Development Kits that accelerate embedded product developments. Headquartered in Mainz, Germany, PHYTEC remains a majority family-owned enterprise, with minority ownership shares held by the managers of operational divisions in Germany, the United States and France. PHYTEC provides off-shelf SOMs and hardware and software design services in support a variety of ARM® Cortex™ A8 and A9, ARM11™, ARM9™, Intel® Atom™ and XScale® devices. PHYTEC products have been deployed in thousands of embedded designs, ranging from industrial control to medical, automotive, avionic and data processing applications.

For more information about PHYTEC, visit