AMD Power-Friendly Chips

AMD Power-Friendly Chips

AMD Introduces Carrizo Line Of Power-Friendly Chips — Here’s How They Cut Down On Power

Advanced Micro Devices, or AMD, has taken the wraps off of a new line of processors for laptops and desktop computers.

The line is called Carrizo, and according to AMD it will offer a 40 percent gain in CPU energy efficiency.

“As a part of our continued focus on building great products, the advanced power and performance optimizations we have designed into our upcoming ‘Carrizo’ APU will deliver the largest generational performance-per-watt gain ever for a mainstream AMD APU,” says Sam Naffziger, AMD Corporate Fellow, in a statement.

While the chip is certain to boost power, its still not clear exactly how much power it will consume. Despite this, while it will be a nice power boost, the main point of the chip seems to be to extend battery life of the device that it powers.

The Carrizo Accelerated Processing Unit, or APU, is made up of an unknown number of Excavator CPU cores as well as eight AMD Radeon cores serving as a graphics card that is integrated into the chip.

These Excavator CPU cores are each reportedly are able to execute up to 5 percent more power than the previous Kaveri cores that the company used. Excavator cores also consume a whopping 40 percent less battery.

The chip is also reportedly able to save power through voltage optimization, which is responsible for cutting 10 percent of power on the CPU and 19 percent on the GPU. This voltage optimization also eliminates the need to overcompensate for drops in voltage, which is called “droop.” Droop basically means that there is wasted power.

Overall the voltage optimization technology is being called “adaptive voltage and frequency scaling,” or AVFS, by AMD. It is highly likely that this technology will be used more extensively in AMD chips from now on.

This new chip will likely pave the way for a more power-friendly processor market. Companies have been trying for years to reduce the power consumption of processors, and while a lot of headway has been made, computers have also been getting more power-hungry. The changes in technology that the Carrizo chip represents, however, could help other manufacturers cut power-consumption from their chips.

“There have been remarkable advances in performance and energy efficiency in computing since the birth of the modern microprocessor,” continued Naffzinger. “However, the energy-related benefits that flow from new manufacturing processes have slowed, ushering in an era when alternative ways to improve processor performance and efficiency are needed.”

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