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In a bid to further increase performance of its forthcoming central processing units (CPUs) based on Bulldozer micro-architecture, Advanced Micro Devices plans to implement a dynamic clock-speed boost technology into its next-generation Opteron chips. The new tech is akin to Turbo Core feature of current Phenom II X6 microprocessors, but has a number of improvements.

Different applications apply different load onto central processing units. As a result, if one task squeezes all the juices from the chip severely, then another does not. Frequencies and thermal design powers of CPUs are set by manufacturers based on the worst-case scenario that stress the microprocessors in order to avoid possible problems. As a result, thermal design power (TDP) figures tend to be very conservative and applications that do not make use of all transistors of a chip do not perform as well as they could have.

Contemporary microprocessors can monitor their load easily, which is why they can trivially adjust clock-speeds downwards if power saving is needed. Moreover, AMD Phenom II X6 “Thuban” chips can boost clock-speeds of three cores by 500MHz when other three are inactive, whereas modern Intel Core i-series can increase clock-speeds depending on the number of active cores even more significantly when needed. The next-generation Bulldozer processors will greatly enhance the Turbo Core technology and will bring it to servers as well, AMD revealed.

AMD's new Turbo Core allows the processor to rise up from the base clock-speed up to the TDP level, automatically unlocking extra potential for the processor. AMD Turbo Core is continually monitoring the processor power consumption to determine the maximum processor state; Turbo Core is watching the power consumption to see how high it can move the clock speed up. Should the processor get too close to the power limit, it does automatically step back a bit to ensure that it is continuing to operate within the specified guidelines. This allows for significantly higher maximum clock speeds.

The Bulldozer implementation of Turbo Core provides up to 500MHz of additional clock speed available with all cores active, which means that even with 16 cores of Opteron "Magny Cours" active with server workloads, all cores can boost at the same time. Additionally, even higher boost states available with half of the cores active. 

"[Naturally], power always does go up with frequency, but the most important thing to remember is that this is also a variable technology; it only increases frequency based on total demand from the application. The system runs at the base frequency unless there is a need for more performance from the application, so in environments that are 'bursty' you’ll vary frequency with AMD PowerNow! between base and the lowest power. If demand for performance is sustained, the processor runs between base and max, so that you are getting the most performance, but still not wasting power, explained John Fruehe, director of product marketing for server, embedded and FireStream products at AMD.

At launch processors based on Bulldozer micro-architecture will be marketed with a base and a maximum frequency, base will reflect the actual clock-speed on the processor and max will reflect the highest AMD Turbo Core state.

Tags: AMD, Bulldozer, Phenom, Opteron, Orochi, Zambezi, Valencia, magny cours


Comments currently: 11
Discussion started: 02/03/11 01:32:40 AM
Latest comment: 02/08/11 05:28:06 AM
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Finally ! 3 years late though ...
0 0 [Posted by: East17  | Date: 02/03/11 01:32:40 AM]

finally @east17? amd already has turbo technology, it's certainly not three years late with that.

"Moreover, AMD Phenom II X6 “Thuban” chips can boost clock-speeds of three cores by 500MHz when other three are inactive"

the big change seems to be that all cores can turbo at once; the system will regulate based off thermal or power loading. i'm not sure how intel's turbo tech is implemented.

the 12 core Opteron processors run between 1.9 and 2.2 GHz, the 8 cores topping out at 2.4 GHz. 500 extra MHz— 20%— is going to mean a lot. if you're running a webserver or db server, chances are all the heavyweight FP gear you're not using will give the processor plenty of thermal headroom to be able to stay in that turbo zone. good stuff amd.
0 0 [Posted by: rektide  | Date: 02/03/11 11:19:42 AM]

I know they have it but I don't know if they've implemented it in the Opteron line yet. I don't think Opteron has it.

The thing is that they should have had Turbo CORE technology since the 1ST DualCORE line of CPUs. Then MUCH MORE THAN NOW, the single threaded performance was VERY important.

Why wouldn't you NOT have it?!?! What's the reason!? Its really not that difficult. But its sooo important that it seems absurd to me that AMD didn't have it back then.

Sure INTEL was in a clear impossible situation then and they couldn't implement such a technology in the Pentium D line and they didn't bother with it once Core 2 line arrived because their architecture was clearly superior to what AMD had.

Why did AMD wait until they've launched 6 Core CPUs to implement such a tech ?
0 0 [Posted by: East17  | Date: 02/03/11 03:07:41 PM]
- collapse thread

Is easy to talk looking backwards. Did you have that idea when the first dual core cpu appeared?
0 0 [Posted by: Voodoo  | Date: 02/03/11 09:05:42 PM]
Actually I did and I've even posted it here. |Search for my comments.

I've been talking about the need for high frequency in |Single Threaded applications in various contexts may times.

Can't find ANY of my older posts even if I've been a member of the forums since 11 years ago.

I found some posts from 2 and a half years ago :
0 0 [Posted by: East17  | Date: 02/03/11 11:08:25 PM]

Sounds just like intels solution. I guess it takes about 6 months to copy an idea these days.
0 0 [Posted by: Davinchy  | Date: 02/04/11 06:36:17 PM]
- collapse thread

i guess you misted the part where is said 500mhz of turbo WHEN ALL CORES ARE ACTIVE.
and the part where it said MORE THEN 500MHz when less then all cores are active.

intel does neither of those. the current thuban 6core turbo mode was a cheap ripoff from intel turbomode. but this new one leaps right over intels current implementation and leaves it in the dust.
0 0 [Posted by: Countess  | Date: 02/08/11 05:18:06 AM]

The thing that this next gen AMD Turbo Core tech has over Intel Turbo Boost tech is boosting all 4 cores at the same time. Intel turbo Boost can't Turbo boost all 4 cores at the same time AMD next gen Turbo Core on the other hand can.
0 0 [Posted by: SteelCity1981  | Date: 02/05/11 12:28:32 AM]

So not need to OC CPU anymore with that technology.
0 0 [Posted by: Blackcode  | Date: 02/06/11 12:42:10 AM]

Is this another way to keep people from OCing like Intel is doing with Sandy?
0 0 [Posted by: LedHed  | Date: 02/06/11 07:52:51 AM]
- collapse thread

only a small percentage of people OC their CPU's while this technologie will provide benefits to all customers. so no thats not the aim of this technology.

and AMD is not intel. they wont make it needlessly hard, but this technology will add some more variables while overclocking most likely.
0 0 [Posted by: Countess  | Date: 02/08/11 05:24:47 AM]


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