Feeds

PA Semi finds a friend in Mercury

Low-power kit for the military

Boost IT visibility and business value

Ultra-fancy chip start-up PA Semi today revealed a rather predictable customer - Mercury Computer Systems.

Mercury loves to experiment with cutting-edge silicon, as evidenced by its hearty push around Cell-based servers. The company enjoys a unique relationship with IBM that lets it sell blades and other boxes using the multi-core processor most famous for its role in Sony's Playstation gaming console.

Now, Mercury plans to ship a line of servers centered on PA Semi's PA6T-1682M PWRficient processor, which is a custom take on IBM's Power architecture. As Mercury tells it, the low-power chips from PA Semi should prove attractive to its military and manufacturing customers.

"What's most important to many of our signal and image processing customers is GFLOPS per Watt," said Mercury's CTO Craig Lund. "We have assessed every available option, and PA Semi's PWRficient processor is the clear leader for many of these applications. The power-efficient design enables us to load the system with multiple processors per board without resorting to exotic cooling technology."

Mercury, based in Massachusetts, has yet to release a delivery date for the gear, although it said the PWRficient chips will lot into its PowerStream systems. The PowerStream line covers 3U, 6U and larger boxes.

PA Semi has enjoyed minor celebrity status in the chip world due to its ultra low-power design. The company's initial dual-core chip consumes between 5W-13W at 2.0GHz - a miracle by today's standards. The downside, of course, is that the chip relies on IBM's Power architecture, blocking the product from the volume x86 world.

In February, PA Semi bragged that 100 customers in a variety of industries demonstrated interest in the company's first chip. Mercury, however, stands as one of the first such customers to make its commitment to the PWRficient chip public. Curtiss-Wright has also announced a 3U system.

PA Semi, based in Silicon Valley, once looked set to capture future business from Apple before the Mac maker defected to Intel. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7
New chip scales to 1024 cores, 8192 threads 64 TB RAM, at speeds over 3.6GHz
Docker kicks KVM's butt in IBM tests
Big Blue finds containers are speedy, but may not have much room to improve
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Gartner's Special Report: Should you believe the hype?
Enough hot air to carry a balloon to the Moon
Flash could be CHEAPER than SAS DISK? Come off it, NetApp
Stats analysis reckons we'll hit that point in just three years
Dell The Man shrieks: 'We've got a Bitcoin order, we've got a Bitcoin order'
$50k of PowerEdge servers? That'll be 85 coins in digi-dosh
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.