February 05, 2007 00:01 ET

P.A. Semi Successfully Develops the Most Power-Efficient High-Performance Processor Ever Designed

Announces 100 Initial Customer Engagements for Its Ground-Breaking PWRficient™ Processor; Global Distribution Channel, Comprehensive Development Tools, Sales and Support Infrastructure

SANTA CLARA, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 5, 2007 -- P.A. Semi, Inc. -- a fabless semiconductor startup developing the high-performance, low-power PWRficient™ processor family -- today announced that, after nearly three years of development, it is now sampling its dual-core PA6T-1682M PWRficient processor based on the Power Architecture™ technology. The PWRficient processor is engineered to deliver unprecedented performance per watt, consuming just 5-13W of power (typical) at 2 GHz, making it 300-400 percent more power efficient than competing processors. P.A. Semi also announced more than 100 initial customer engagements, with 10 alpha customers and associated development and support infrastructure.

"The industry recently awoke to the need to move to energy-efficient processors, and the release of our first PWRficient processor, which is up to 400 percent more power-efficient than other high-performance processors, marks a significant milestone for P.A. Semi to satisfy those needs," says Dan Dobberpuhl, president and C.E.O. of P.A. Semi. "Successfully delivering on the PWRficient processor's aggressive power and performance metrics, while also building out our support and sales infrastructure, has helped to generate strong customer interest and widespread adoption."


The PWRficient processors' performance, cost and energy efficiency have seen major customer traction in the multibillion-dollar embedded computing and control markets since its formal announcement in fall of 2005. P.A. Semi has secured more than 100 customer engagements and 10 alpha customers, including Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing, Extreme Engineering Solutions (X-ES), Mercury Computer Systems, Performance Technologies, Splitted-Desktop Systems and Themis Computer. Additionally, P.A. Semi is working with all the top businesses in a broad range of market segments, including networking, wireless infrastructure, storage, and the military and aerospace markets.

This deployment is underpinned by a worldwide sales force that includes both direct and indirect sales, with Nu Horizons Electronics Corporation taking the lead on all distribution activities in the U.S., UK, India, Australia and China, and Clavis Company, a division of Macnica, Inc., heading up distribution in Japan. Additionally, more than 100 sales persons, via P.A. Semi's representatives, are covering all areas of the globe. A complete list of representatives by geographic region is available at

"In recent years, the sophistication and types of services applied to packets and streams in the Internet, and especially intranets, have redoubled at the same time that overall traffic is growing rapidly," said John Wakerly, consulting professor at Stanford University and former CTO of Cisco Systems Routing Technology Group. "The result is an astonishing increase in the number of general-purpose-CPU instructions that must be executed within the network, creating a crucial need for high-performance, I/O-rich multicore microprocessors that can pack large amounts of computing and packet-handling power within a small power envelope, such as those offered by P.A. Semi. The need for such 'platform processors' extends well beyond traditional routing control planes and data planes to the growing array of embedded network services, such as security, authentication, content customization, voice over IP, unified messaging and converged video solutions."


The P.A. Semi PA6T-1682M, developed in 65-nanometer process technology, is a 64-bit dual-core microprocessor, designed from the ground up, based on the company's Power Architecture license from IBM. The 1682M integrates what is typically a three- to five-chip-set platform into a single chip, called a "platform processor." Total device power dissipation is 5-13W (typical), and worst-case power is 25W, with both CPUs running at 2 GHz and all peripherals active. This is three times to four times lower power than other processor solutions implemented in 65-nanometer process technology with equivalent peripherals support.

The 1682M features two 2-GHz processors (each with its own dual-integer, floating-point, and VMX vector-processing units), 2 MB of level two cache, two DDR-2 memory controllers and hardware assist engines for TCP/IP acceleration, security, CRC checksum and XOR computation. The device also integrates a flexible I/O subsystem that supports eight PCI Express controllers, two 10-Gigabit Ethernet controllers and four Gigabit Ethernet controllers that share 24 configurable SERDES lanes.


P.A. Semi, a member of, has developed a comprehensive tools and support environment for its PWRficient processor family that enables customers to bring up new hardware quickly and debug complex interactions among multiple processors. The PWRficient Evaluation Kit (PAEV-1682M-001) includes an ATX-form-factor evaluation board that features two native 1-Gb Ethernet ports, 1-, 4- and 16-lane PCIe, and four DDR-2 DIMM sockets; the board supports two 10Gb Ethernet ports with the optional Network Adapter Pack. The kit also includes firmware, operating system and debug support and is packaged in an ATX-chassis with a power supply.

Operating system (OS) support for the dual-core device includes Linux, QNX Neutrino and VxWorks. Other standard OSs are running in the lab, and support will be announced when validation is complete. P.A. Semi provides reference firmware source code based on the open-source common firmware environment that customers can use directly or as a guide to porting their own firmware.

Also available is a complete Software Development Kit that includes Board Support Packages for these operating systems plus a GNU-based software tool chain. In addition, other multicore software development suites and tools (e.g., Wind River's Workbench On-Chip Debugging, Corelis's CodeSymphony and QNX's Momentics) and hardware debug probes and emulators (Wind River's ICE and Probe, Corelis's USB-1149.1/E controller) are available for the 1682M.

P.A. Semi has also deployed key training and support infrastructure designed to provide customers with all the resources needed to quickly and successfully integrate the 1682M into their own environments. These resources include a customer-support portal, an e-mail support hot line and worldwide programs offering both in-person and web-based training.


Device samples of the 1682M and PWRficient Evaluation Kits are available now. Fully qualified production availability of the 1682M will occur in Q407. Device pricing information is available from the local P.A. Semi sales representative at Each PAEV-1682M-001 PWRficient Evaluation Kit is priced at $8,500; 1682M engineering samples are priced at $700 each.

More information on P.A. Semi, the PA6T-1682M PWRficient processor, the PWRficient Evaluation Kit and its customer and sales support can be found at


P.A. Semi develops and delivers the groundbreaking PWRficient™ processor family, the world's most power-efficient high-performance processors ever designed. The PWRficient processor family, based on the Power Architecture™ technology, targets the multibillion-dollar high-performance embedded-computing market and is supported by a comprehensive ecosystem of software tools, application software, operating systems and ODM hardware. The company has headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif., with a design and sales center in Wellesley, Mass. For more information, please visit

ABOUT POWER.ORG is an open community of more than 40 corporations driving innovation around Power Architecture technology. provides an open ecosystem through which its members engage in collaborative innovation on Power Architecture technology.'s mission is to optimize interoperability, accelerate innovation and drive increased adoption of this leading processor architecture. For more details, visit


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    Tara Sims
    Director of Communications
    P.A. Semi
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