AMD's forthcoming Barcelona quad-core processor features a new power management technology that allows the chip individually to power the actual CPU and memory controller.
The new 'dual dynamic power management' allows for granular power control and increased performance, claimed Ron Myers, division manager for AMD Validated Solutions.
The technology allows for a seven per cent performance gain over current-generation Opteron chips, according to Myers, but AMD could not provide data on expected power savings.
Barcelona will especially benefit applications that rely heavily on floating point calculations, such as high performance computing.
Because such applications use very little memory, the chip can divert power from the memory controller to the processing cores.
The technology shows that Barcelona is more than just a quad-core version of the current duo core Opteron model.
"When we talk about Barcelona, we are not just talking about adding four cores," Myers told vnunet.com.
In addition to the dual dynamic power management technology, the chip offers hardware acceleration for virtualisation as well as increased cache memory.
Barcelona is scheduled for release "this summer". AMD will be showing of the first production chips at the Computex tradeshow in Taipei this week.
AMD has predicted that Barcelona will help it regain the performance-per-watt lead in the chip market.
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