Introduced for the first time in the Thuban line of six-core processors, AMD's Turbo Core technology will also make its way into the upcoming Bulldozer architecture, the very first details about its implementation being made public by the Sunnyvale-based company.
“AMD Turbo Core allows customers to tap into that additional clock speed headroom by allowing the processor to rise up from the base clock speed up to the TDP level, automatically unlocking extra potential for the processor,” said John Fruehe, director of Product Marketing for Server, Embedded and FireStream products at AMD, in a blog post
“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,” concludes the company's rep.
Contrary to the first implementation of the technology, this new version of Turbo Core allows for all the processor
cores to be run at a higher frequency at the same time, AMD stating that as much as 500MHz of additional clock speed is available with all cores active.
This can be achieved by taking advantage of the headroom existent between the Average CPU Power (ACP) and the thermal design power (TDP) of the Bulldozer chip.
When Turbo Core detects that an application uses all the computing power available to the CPU, the technology looks at the power consumption of the processor and decides whether or not, and by how much, it can increase its operating frequency.
The maximum frequency boost also depends on the number of cores active, as when only half, or less, of the cores are being used, the CPU can go even higher than 500MHz.
Unfortunately, although it seems like AMD
made a step in the right direction with this new Turbo Core version, it appears that the technology still isn't as flexible as Intel's Turbo Boost.