Monday, November 26, 2007

Centillium Targets Greener Broadband with Low-Power Chipsets

Centillium Communications has launched an initiative to facilitate greener broadband by developing its next-generation communications systems-on-chip (SoC) with smaller form factors and significantly reduced power consumption. The announcement formalizes Centillium's commitment to significant power reductions across the next generation of its SoC products. Centillium's next generation of low-power DSL, VoIP and Optical chipsets, in design now for release throughout 2008, will benefit from a much steeper power reduction strategy due to optimizations in SoC architecture, signal processing algorithms, processor architectures and lower power processes.

Centillium estimates that a 25% reduction in power consumption for broadband services could save the energy equivalent of 110GW-Hrs (gigawatt-hours) annually by 2011. This calculation is based on the following analysis. The global market for broadband continues to grow rapidly. In the 12 months from May 2006 to May 2007, approximately 65 million new broadband subscribers signed up for high-speed access to the Internet (In-Stat figures); by 2011, total worldwide broadband subscribers are expected to number 567 million, almost double the current 285 million subscriber base. This ongoing expansion, along with ever-increasing data rates and growth in services, continues to push broadband power consumption higher. With every broadband line representing an always-on consumer of energy resources, lower-power chipsets can provide significant power savings for each line, with gains extended exponentially across large-scale deployments to create a substantial savings of energy. Estimated worldwide broadband power consumption today equals roughly 5TW-Hrs (terawatt-hours) annually; by 2011, worldwide broadband power consumption is estimated to be roughly 10TW-Hrs annually.

"Broadband lines are always on, constantly drawing power and consuming energy in ways that traditional telephony has not," said Faraj Aalaei, CEO, Centillium Communications. "It makes good sense, both from an economic and environmental standpoint, to design chips that will consume less power."