Tuesday, April 04, 2006

IBM and Rapport unveil energy efficient processor

IBM and a small California startup named Rapport are producing a small, energy efficient derivative of the Power line of processors that gives enough throughput to handle dense video streams, among other things. Called the Kilocore 1025, it is intended for things like very smart phones, mobile devices in the class of Microsoft's "Origami" appliances and entertainment devices on the order of game consoles.

Each chip has over 1000 8 bit computing structures on the die, arrayed around a Power core. Rapport's "Kilocore" technology and sophisticated energy management may allow a breakthrough in mobile computing. However; every reference to this I have read cautions that without excellent execution in design and marketing, this could simply be another Transmeta. Transmeta's tech was and is very good, but it did not catch on. To date, the company and their breakthrough technology have lost well over half a billion dollars and profitability is still a ways over the horizon, if ever it comes into view.

Still, this is an interesting development and it will be fun to watch IBM fit it into the "real" world.


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