Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 8th Apr 2006 18:38 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems As expected processor licensor ARM Holdings and Handshake Solutions NV, a Royal Philips Electronics subsidiary, have developed an asynchronous processor based on the ARM9 core. The ARM996HS is thought to be the first commercial clockless processor and is being described as particular suited to use as an automotive microcontroller. Because clockless processors consume zero dynamic power when there is no activity, they can significantly extend battery life compared with clocked equivalents.
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somewhat dubious
by ZaNkY on Sat 8th Apr 2006 20:20 UTC
ZaNkY
Member since:
2005-10-18

Sounds interesting, But how would it compare (performance wise) to a clocked processor?

I feel a little dubious at this technology. Sure it will save lots of power, but there's never really a time that a CPU is completely idle. Sure this is being used for an automotive microcontroller, but I'm sure that It'll *try* to make it into the PC market. I guess we'll have to wait and see the progress of the tech.

ZaNkY

Reply Score: 1

RE: somewhat dubious
by hobgoblin on Sat 8th Apr 2006 20:26 in reply to "somewhat dubious"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

at the very least it will make its way into handheld devices (where ARM have a virtual monopoly), and that is a place where the ability to save power is very important.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: somewhat dubious
by flav2000 on Sat 8th Apr 2006 21:05 in reply to "somewhat dubious"
flav2000 Member since:
2006-02-08

I don't think they'll ever try to go for the PC market.

What they don't tell you is that asynchronous designs all suffer from a lot of startup delay. These chips are probably not meant for interactive applications like we use the PC for - so in those cases it's toally fine for them to take a little time to ramp up

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: somewhat dubious
by ZaNkY on Sat 8th Apr 2006 22:29 in reply to "RE: somewhat dubious"
ZaNkY Member since:
2005-10-18

That's exactly what I was thinking. The whole startup process would be the kicker. I mean, don't get me wrong, I think it would be great if it could get into PC tech, but I donít see it happening with major adjustments.

Good point (a post above) that this is targeted mainly at mobile devices, and most probably will stay that way.


And I must say, even if it appears your CPU is idle, it's is nearly ALWAYS computing something. Whether it's detecting minuscule mouse movements (mouse interrupt calls), or its processing background dhcp requests or other TCP stack stuff, it's always working.

We could say that the CPU may at times be doing negligible work, but I doubt it ever really "stops".

ZaNkY

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: somewhat dubious
by geist on Sat 8th Apr 2006 21:14 in reply to "somewhat dubious"
geist Member since:
2005-07-11

I feel a little dubious at this technology. Sure it will save lots of power, but there's never really a time that a CPU is completely idle.

You betcha there is time that a cpu is completely idle. Depending on the use of the system of course, but most cpus in the world spend most of their time doing nothing. They're usually halted, waiting on the next interrupt.

Reply Parent Score: 5