P.A. Semi's raises the low power stakes

P.A. Semi's raises the low power stakes

Summary: A chip start-up (including 150 developers) with DEC Alpha and other fine pedigrees and focusing on power consumption has waved a red flag in front of AMD, IBM, Intel and Sun.  P.

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TOPICS: Processors
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A chip start-up (including 150 developers) with DEC Alpha and other fine pedigrees and focusing on power consumption has waved a red flag in front of AMD, IBM, Intel and Sun.  P.A. Semi's low-power multicore, 64-bit chips, which are built around the Power architecture used in IBM servers and the current crop of Macs, reportedly consumes from 5 to 25 watts, compared to a maximum of 90 watts for a single core Power chip today. Compared to Intel or Opteron processors, P.A. Semi claims that its PWRficient chip could save a company 10x in energy costs.

   PWRficient PA6T-1682M Block Diagram 

PAsemi.jpg

Processors based on the highly integrated design won't be available for two years, which give the big four some time to circle the wagons with their own processor designs or to license or acquire P.A. Semi. Lowering power requirements is a major challenge that all chipmakers have been trying to address for years, and now it's center stage. In fact, the combination of lowering power requirements and improving battery life are cornerstones of wireless anytime, anywhere computing. It's unknown whether P.A Semi will be the next Transmeta, which had low-power chips for notebooks in production in 2001 but has failed to make a dent in the market, but the little company will keep its larger competitors awake at night, which is always good for buyers...

Topic: Processors

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  • Vaporware

    They will never have access to the latest chip fabs, so there chips will be one generation behind the leaders. They will be making 90nm chips when the market has moved to 65nm.
    Roger Ramjet