Intel's Low Power Xeon
Intel has been making CPUs for quite some time and they've realized the value of reducing the power consumption of some of their most powerful processors. There have been CPUs on the market for years that use very little energy (such as in smart phones or tablets) but these tend to lack the punch required to run more powerful machines such as servers. Xeon processors have dominated the server market for many years but there are competitors and everybody is looking for ways to save power. Intel is no different and with the new Broadwell line of processors they intend to release the reduction of CPU power consumption will be at the forefront.
The challenges involved in producing and selling “low power Xeon equivalent” processors are numerous so it may well be that Intel has its work cut out for it. Although it does make sense to pursue producing hardware such as CPUs that require less energy to operate, the processing ability cannot suffer to any measurable extent because customers who purchase processing power don't want to lose any substantial level of that ability. One way in which these new processors may succeed would be through the use of many low-power processors as opposed to just a few which consume measurably more power. Much like how many supercomputing environments are now split up to allow any company or entity to "rent processing power", low-power Xeon processor variants could possibly be grouped together and yet split up to allow for savings in energy while maintaining processing power. Is this possibly a wave of the future?
This depends on many factors, doesn’t it? How will the Broadwell processors perform under duress (as server processors must in the real world) and how much will the energy savings actually return? This is yet to be realized but the premise is there, the technology is there, and if the processors have built-in connectivity and memory that work then Intel may well be able to produce something which their competitors may try to emulate as opposed to compete with. Advanced Micro Devices and other CPU manufacturers intend to break down Intel's decades long dominance of the server CPU market; however, if Intel succeeds in what they plan with the Broadwell line of low-power Xeon-based processors it could be an interesting decade to come for the server CPU market.