Transputer power consumption

Transputer power consumption

Post by Arne Sommerfe » Thu, 25 Nov 1993 18:23:45

I have recently tried to convince some telecomunication system designer that
transputers are a competitive alternative to their current designs. I think
I've managed to convince them that the transputer is faster and gives easier
system construction both with respect to hardware and software.

Now the embarrasing question I get is about the power consumption. I'm
actually not sure how the transputer comes out when all thing are added up. As
a single component, I have the impression that the transputer is rather
mediocre when you look at the power/performance ratio. I still have a feeling
that a total system may come out with competitive power/performance because of
reduced component count etc.

I would be grateful if the net could be provide me with real experience and
examples on this subject. I believe transputers have a great future in
telecommunications, but convincing their (legitimately conservative) designers
is a tough job.

Arne Sommerfelt


1. Transputer power consumption

Has anybody tried the Transputer in a battery-powered system?

With other CMOS processors you can do things like
choosing a slower processor clock when the processor is idle.
With the Transputer this would of course upset both the links
as well as the internal VCO that generates the processor clock.

One solution is to turn the processor off, but this would be
impractical if you are going to design a kind of "watchdog"
system that samples some signal quite frequently because you
would have to boot the transputer each time.

Another solution would be incorporating another processor as
the watchdog, but then you loose some of the simplicity and
elegance of a pure Transputer system, and you would have to
write programs for two different processors.

The solution I would have preferred is to have the Transputer
execute some code that lower the power consumption considerably.
My question is then if anyone has made measurements of power-
consumption as a function of instruction executed.


Eivind Engebretsen
Norwegian Defence Research Establishment
P.O. Box 25,  N - 2007 Kjeller  NORWAY
Phone  +47 6 807543   Fax  +47 6 807509


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