New Transceiver Cuts Serial Link Power Requirements by 80%

Large scale computation need massive amounts of power. As computation capacity increases, power requirement also increases. For a number of years, researchers have been trying to find ways to reduce this power consumption. They have finally succeeded.

Recently, a team of researchers from the University of Illinois lead by Prof. Pavan Hanumolu announced that they had invented an on/off transceiver, capable of cutting electricity consumption (by serial links) by as much as 80%. Current serial links consume 20% of the power supplied to the microprocessor and 7% of the total power supplied to the data center. While it won’t necessarily push devices to go faster, the power you conserve can be used elsewhere in the machine. The team estimates that their new product can reduce the power bills of data centers worldwide by as much as $870 million.

Data centers do not shut down their serial links because they want to maximize speed. But the new embedded architecture has drastically reduced their start up time, giving an incentive to shut down the system, when it is not in use. This is good embedded development because serial links are active only about 50-70 % of the time. The research was financed by Semiconductor Research Corp, a consortium