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AMD Thuban Adds Turbo Core Technology to Six CPU Cores E-mail
Written by TechReport   
Thursday, 08 April 2010

AMD Thuban Adds Turbo Core Technology to Six CPU Cores

Looks like the rumor mill was right to be buzzing about AMD incorporating a dynamic clock speed boosting mechanism similar to Intel's Turbo Boost into its upcoming six-core processors. AMD has confirmed to us that the chip code-named Thuban does indeed include such a feature, dubbed Turbo Core technology.

At its heart, Turbo Core is essentially similar to Intel's Turbo Boost. When not all of the processor's cores are fully occupied, this feature raises the clock speeds on active cores above the default frequency while staying within the CPU's defined thermal limits. However, Turbo Core is a little bit different from Intel's technology in its operation-and generally simpler.

The processor becomes eligible to enter the "boost" state when three or fewer cores are heavily occupied with work. This boost state is a simple, binary condition. When the CPU enters this state, the peak clock speed for the three affected cores will jump by as much as 500MHz above the baseline, improving performance. To give a possible example, a future Phenom II X6 CPU might have a base clock speed of 3.4GHz but range up to 3.9GHz when only one to three cores are busy. Meanwhile, the three inactive cores will be in an idle state, with greatly reduced power draw. Three cores is the magic number here because that's the split on six-core parts; three cores go into boost, and three do not. Quad-cores based on Thuban may have a 2/2 split. TechReport


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