A Startup That Makes Data Centers Efficient, Smooth-Stone, Gets New VPs And A New Name

Green IT startup Smooth-Stone today announced a new company name, Calxeda (pronounced “cal-zeh-dah”) and the addition of three vice president-level executives to its team: Karl Freund, Bob Baughman and Steve Beatty. The talent comes from IBM, Polycom and Freescale, respectively. Calxeda also launched a new website to reflect its rebranding, and moved into a new corporate headquarters office in Austin, Texas.

Founded in January 2008, Calxeda raised a $48 million investment in August this year from a syndicate of venture capital firms and semiconductor companies, including ARM, Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC), Battery Ventures, Flybridge Capital Partners, Highland Capital Partners and Texas Instruments Inc.

Calxeda designs and uses ultra-low power processors (like those found in mobile phones) to help data center owners and operators lower the amount of energy they require to run and cool their servers or other equipment, while also reducing the amount of space they need to accommodate their systems.

A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report to Congress in 2007 estimated that if newly available technology were adopted by data centers in the U.S., energy efficiency could be improved by as much as 70%, and that saving a modest 10% of total energy used in these facilities would amount to energy savings of 10.7 billion kilowatt-hours per year— equivalent to the electricity consumed by one million US households and valued at the time of the report around $740 million.

Controlling costs, but not a wish to be more environmentally responsible, ranks as the top reason that IT professionals are increasingly using energy management and related systems according to recenty Global Green IT Online surveys by Forrester Research. Forrester also reported in 2009 that 45% of IT professionals at global enterprises, small and medium sized businesses in the U.S. have already implemented, or are beginning to implement enterprise energy and carbon management systems (ECEMs).