Start-up plans new energy-efficient Power processor

“P.A. Semi is working on a low-power Power chip. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based start-up this week is set to unveil its plans for a microprocessor based around the Power architecture–the same architecture behind chips in IBM servers and current Macs–that consumes only a fraction of the energy of existing chips,” Michael Kanellos reports for CNET News. “The company’s first so-called PWRficient chip will feature two processing cores, run at 2GHz and consume on average about 5 watts, thanks to an emphasis on integration and circuit design. At a maximum, it will consume 25 watts, far less than the single-core Power chips that can hit 90 watts found on the market today.”

Full article here.

“At the Fall Processor Forum here this week, P.A. Semi will announce how it has designed a high-performance chip it claims will consume as much as 10 times less power than today’s comparable products. But because it takes an average of four years to design and produce a new chip, P.A. Semi said its processors won’t hit the market until 2007,” May Wong reports for The Associated Press.

Full article here.

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19 Comments

  1. “so are they gonna offer stock or what?”

    They’re probably running off venture capital now. They won’t offer stock until a product is shipping – at least that’s the way Crusoe did it a few years back.

    I’ve been getting bulletins about this company all day, and from the preliminary info I’ve seen, they’re the real deal. There’s all sorts of buzz regarding who their ‘secret partner’ is, the one who will actually be making this chip. They’ve already said it isn’t IBM or Freescale, so the front runner is AMD. 2006 isn’t far off at all for an actual 65nm product roll out, so they would need someone big and advanced to make that happen, and AMD just opened Fab36 in Dresden (which apparently has quite a bit of open space).

    A dual core G4 would have slotted in quite nicely between now and then … ah well. One can dream, can’t one?
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  2. Wow this is amazing: “a high-performance chip it claims will consume as much as 10 times less power than today’s comparable products.”

    Let’s see, if we say that today’s comparable products use 90 watts, then 10 times less would be -810 watts. That’s fantastic. We could devise a supercomputer using a network of these processors, and then power a house with the negative energy.

    People who can’t add and subtract should not write technical news.

  3. i’m building a new chip that has 25 cores, uses 10 watts of power, processes data in 256-bit chunks. It will have AltiVec in it and will have 5 Megabytes of cache memory. Each core will have it’s own dedicated cache and a dedicated altivec engine. It will have a clockspeed of 10 Ghz per core to start. I just need to raise funds to build the damn thing. Now, if anyone can send me money as investment to help me fund this project, I will assure you that the Mac will be a kick ass platform for anyone.

  4. Synthmiester:

    Factor in the 1Ghz that PPC typically gives to x86 (and still spanks them btw), add it to the certainty that the company will give it’s design some leeway for speedbump upgrades, and ‘mix well’ with 2MB of cache and the fact that almost the entire MoBo function will be ON CHIP (north and south bridges, PCIe and ethernet controllers) … and 2Ghz at 15watts is looking pretty awsome.

    Like I said, this thing is a real revelation. It’s a shame Apple will never use it.

  5. “Like I said, this thing is a real revelation. It’s a shame Apple will never use it.”

    Never say never. Once all Mac OS X apps go Universal Binary, there really is no reason to stop producing Universal Binary versions of apps. I think as long as there is significant demand for PowerPC-based products, Apple will continue to sell them. Just look at the eMac as an example. Jobs tried to kill of CRT-based Macs, but customers still wanted a low-cost CRT-based product and it’s only been very recently that Apple has pulled it from general sales.

    Once all the major apps are being released in Universal Binary version, Apple can ship whatever hardware it wants, whether it is x86 or PowerPC based, as long as demand justifies the product development cycle. Who knows, PowerPC may not be dead just yet, thanks to Universal Binaries.

  6. Wow, so they’ll have a 2Ghz dual-core for PowerBooks in 2007. Meanwhile Apple will be using dual-core 2.34Ghz Pentium chips in PowerBooks, running circles around the PowerPC stuff.

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