Feeds

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

TI to fab?

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

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. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
Disaster Recovery upstart joins DR 'as a service' gang
Quorum joins the aaS crowd with DRaaS offering
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.