Feeds

AMD 'Griffin' laptop CPU to integrate Turion cores

Power consumption, not processing, targeted

Remote control for virtualized desktops

AMD's upcoming next-gen notebook processor, 'Griffin', contains rather a lot of the current generation, the 65nm Turion 64 X2, the chip maker admitted today. This despite Griffin's status as AMD's first CPU designed specifically for notebooks.

Griffin - due to ship late Q4, but probably not in systems you can buy until well into 2008 - packs in a pair of 65nm CPU cores and connects each of them to 1MB of L2 cache - up from the 512KB found in today's AMD laptop-friendly chips - and to a freshly designed Northbridge unit comprising a HyperTransport 3 controller and a memory manager.

AMD Fellow Maurice Steinman told Register Hardware the CPU cores are almost transistor-for-transistor the same cores found in the 65nm Turion processors AMD launched earlier this month.

According to Steinman, much of the work on Griffin centred on revamping the Northbridge elements to improve the processor's energy efficiency. The bandwidth made available by the HyperTransport 3 bus - three times that provided by the current generation - can be dynamically narrowed according to need, and done so asynchronously so that routes into the processor can be temporarily slowed down without affecting outbound traffic.

AMD's 'Griffin' notebook processor

Griffin's dual-channel DDR 2-oriented memory controller features a pre-fetcher to grab ahead of time the data it thinks the processing cores are going to want from memory in the near future. It's also tweaked to work only with notebook-style memory configurations and not the broad array of desktop and server memory options the current Turion line is architected to be able to deal with, albeit unnecessarily.

These Northbridge components and the two cores are all on separate voltage planes, allowing each to run on reduced power when they're not needed. That allows, for example, a chipset-integrated graphics engine to connect through to main memory without troubling the CPU cores, Steinman said. The cores themselves are able to switch frequencies independently and quickly - in microseconds rather than milliseconds - with the ability to fall to a lower base frequency than Turions - they fall to 800MHz, Griffin could go down to 300MHz, he indicated, thanks to a new minimum of an eighth of the maximum.

Alas, Steinman didn't say to what extent all these tweaks will enhance Griffin-based systems' battery life not only over the current generation of Turion notebooks but also when compared to Intel's latest incarnation of Centrino, 'Santa Rosa'.

Nor did he disclose how high the chip will be clocked - expect AMD to make further announcements on this closer to the chip's launch. However, he did confirm that Griffin will be designed to work with AMD's upcoming M780 chipset, which integrates AMD's HyperFlash cache technology.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
Heyyy! NICE e-bracelet you've got there ... SHAME if someone were to SUBPOENA it
Court pops open cans of worms and whup-ass in Fitbit case
SLURP! Flick your TONGUE around our LOLLIPOP – Google
Android 5 is coming – IF you're lucky enough to have the right gadget
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management
How using vulnerability assessments to identify exploitable weaknesses and take corrective action can reduce the risk of hackers finding your site and attacking it.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.