Sunday, October 23, 2005

The Next Intel Emerges From Stealth

Our focus on consumer technology isn't restricted to web2.0 startups. Our wireless, security and media investments have all followed the consumer. (Flarion, GoTV, Mforma, Revver, Visto, Gracenote, Skype...) And our semi-conductor practice is no exception. Led by Rob Chandra, Bessemer's semi team has been funding the next generation of low-power, mixed signal chip design to enable the rapid evolution of mobile, multimedia devices (as well as dense, overheating datacenters).

One such portfolio company, PA Semi, emerges from stealth today at the Fall Processor Forum in San Jose. This crack team of chip designers was responsible for DEC Alpha, Opteron, and Sibyte.
Expect to enjoy the company's PowerPC microprocessor in video games, routers, server blades, storage appliances, supercomuters, printer/copiers, cars, etc. According to today's Wall Street Journal:

P.A. Semi, funded by the venture-capital firms Bessemer Venture Partners and Venrock Associates, expects to deliver samples of a chip next summer that operates at two gigahertz, yet draws only 13 watts of power. That product will have the core circuitry of two microprocessors, along with other circuitry often found on separate chips; P.A. Semi eventually expects to put as many as eight processors on a single piece of silicon.

By contrast, Intel's latest "dual-core" chip for servers operates at 2.8 gigahertz and draws up to 150 watts of power. Mr. Dobberpuhl concedes that competitors also will reduce their power consumption, but he expects P.A. Semi products to retain a threefold to fivefold advantage over competitors.

This powerpoint reveals more details about the company.


  1. Anonymous8:56 PM

    A power processor at dual core 2 GHZ with 2MB cache and consuming just 5-13watts... thats pretty amazing, perhaps Apple's move to intel was too hasty...

  2. Hah, I happened to run into Steve Jobs at an Indian restaurant this past weekend in Palo Alto, and I told him the same thing!