This week AMD announced the quad-core processors like Barcelona will be able to run all four cores at different speeds, depending on their work loads, to save power.
The processor, which AMD will discuss at the International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) next week in San Francisco, will sport a new version of AMD's PowerNow technology that will let all four cores simultaneously operate at different speeds, depending on their work loads, to curb power.
If one of the cores is running a 3D simulation, for instance, it can crank past 2GHz, while the other three can slumber at 1GHz. The cores can run at one of four different speeds.
In current AMD dual-core processors, the two cores can run at slower-than-maximum speeds, but they move in tandem. By making the speed of each independent, AMD has cut the average power consumption of Barcelona by about 10 watts, said Brent Kirby, product manager for servers and workstations at the chipmaker.