Feeds

PA Semi heads to 16 cores on back of $50m boost

TI to fab?

High performance access to file storage

Processor Forum Chip start-up PA Semi has broadened its product roadmap to make room for a 16-core chip and more low-power products.

Comprised of a host of DEC veterans, PA Semi has yet to start shipping its first product – a dual-core Power processor that will run at 2GHz and consume only about 7 watts. That, however, hasn't stopped the well-funded firm from planning ahead – way ahead. CEO Dan Dobberpuhl today revealed that PA Semi has architected a 16-core design and a host of other cores for "different power points."

"I think there is room for a wide range of different performance cores as we evolve parallelism techniques," Dobberpuhl said, speaking today at the Processor Forum event in San Jose. "It will make sense to have more lower performance cores."

PA Semi was born to take advantage of the processor industry's current shift away from always upping GHz in favor of producing chips with more cores that run at lower speeds. The company has taken on a radical approach by some measures with its plans to have products operating at less than 10 watts. Current chips from Intel, for example, can stretch up to 130 watts.

But PA Semi doesn't really plan to attack the server market first where most of the power hungry chips play today. It wants to go after the embedded processor market and storage systems. Dobberpuhl declined to answer our question about the exact nature of customer interest in the company's products.

"At this point, I don't want to be more specific about customers," he said.

PA Semi's pitch continues to woo investors. The company is one of the best funded start-ups around and has more than 150 workers.

A regulatory filing has revealed that PA Semi recently raised $50m in Series C funding with Highland Capital Partners, Texas Instruments and Bessemer Venture Partners investing. All told, PA Semi has brought in close to $86m.

That filing gives the best indication to date that TI is the company's fab. Sun Microsystems also uses TI as a fab for its SPARC processors.

When PA Semi starts shipping products next year, it expects to beat the competition by 3x to 5x when comparing performance and power consumption, Dobberpuhl said.

The company still faces huge challenges by being tied to the Power architecture, which limits its market. In addition, PA Semi will be going up against the largest chip companies in the world that have also started to put more focus on performance per watt. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Seagate brings out 6TB HDD, did not need NO STEENKIN' SHINGLES
Or helium filling either, according to reports
European Court of Justice rips up Data Retention Directive
Rules 'interfering' measure to be 'invalid'
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
Bored with trading oil and gold? Why not flog some CLOUD servers?
Chicago Mercantile Exchange plans cloud spot exchange
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?
I'll leave my arrays to do the hard work, if you don't mind
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.