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Mobile AMD-K6-2+ features self-optimizing power management

Jun 29, 2000 — by Rick Lehrbaum — from the LinuxDevices Archive
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AMD has announced 550MHz and 533MHz versions of its Mobile AMD-K6-2+ family of processors featuring a new power management technology called “PowerNow!” AMD claims its new PowerNow! technology can extend the battery life of notebook systems by up to 30%.

PowerNow! is AMD's second generation of power management technology. It includes a unique “automatic” mode that optimizes power consumption transparently, rather than requiring the user to manually select a performance or battery saving mode. PowerNow! technology is a combination of software and hardware support that allows the processor to run at different frequencies and voltages. There are three basic modes of operation, including AMD's unique “automatic” mode:

  • High Performance mode — the CPU runs at maximum frequency and voltage
  • Battery Saver Mode — the CPU runs at lowest frequency and voltage to maximize system battery life
  • Automatic Mode — the system monitors application usage and continuously varies operating frequency and voltage to deliver performance on demand while optimizing battery life
AMD claims that under most conditions the system can be run in automatic mode (whether on AC or DC power). AMD's website makes reference to Windows support, but does not currently indicate whether the required software support is available to take advantage of PowerNow! technology under Linux.

The Mobile AMD-K6-2+ processor is offered in speeds of 550MHz, 533MHz, 500MHz, 475MHz and 450MHz. The processor incorporates a 128Kbyte on-chip, Level 2 cache, support for AMD PowerNow! technology, an enhanced implementation of AMD's 3DNow! instruction set with digital signal processing (DSP) instructions, and a 100MHz front-side bus.

Mobile AMD-K6-2+ processors operate at a core voltage of 1.4 to 2.0 Volts, have an extended case temperature rating of 85 degrees Celsius, and dissipate as little as 3 Watts of power running in PowerNow! battery-saver mode of operation. The processors are available in Socket 7/Super7(tm) platform-compatible 321-pin Ceramic Pin Grid Array packages.

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