The chip uses Power Architecture technology, which PA Semi licensed from IBM. But in older chip designs, power coursed through the processor all the time. Then about a decade ago, through advanced dynamic power-supply regulation, the processor block was made to start and stop the flow as needed. PA Semi's process breaks it down even further, regulating the power supply at the registry level within the block.
The chip's efficiency could be a big breakthrough. Power-efficient operation of servers and other computers has become a top concern of data center managers because of increasing energy costs. Richard Wawrzyniak, a senior market analyst at Semico Research Corp., told Computerworld,
"For all the people who are concerned with their power budget, or they have run out of power budget and they are trying to figure out some way to increase their performance, this makes a lot of sense."
Companies are testing PA Semi's processor for possible use an embedded processor in networking equipment for telecommunications, military or aerospace customers.