A startup chip company is introducing a power-efficient processor it has been developing for three years, just as the market clamours for energy efficiency.

PA Semi is offering a dual-core, 64bit processor that it claims uses only 5- to 13W of electricity running at 2GHz, making it 300- to 400 percent more power-efficient than comparable processors.

PA Semi is making its PA6T-1682M PWRficient processor available to companies that will test it for possible use as an embedded processor in networking equipment for telecommunications, military or aerospace customers, said Dan Dobberpuhl, co-founder and chief executive officer.

The chip is based on Power Architecture technology, which the company has licensed from IBM. PA Semi claims the new product has a better performance-per-Watt rating than an IBM 670MP processor, an Athlon 64x2 processor from AMD and the Core 2 Duo from Intel. But PA Semi won't be directly competing with AMD and Intel because it won't be selling into the server or personal computer markets with its initial product.