AMD "Puma" Mobile Platform Details Unveiled
Anh Tuan Huynh
May 17, 2007 5:02 PM
comment(s) - last by
AMD's long-term mobile computing roadmap. (Source: AMD)
AMD prepares to take on Centrino with more power saving features
AMD is preparing to take on Intel’s Centrino, current
, platforms with the next-generation
mobile platform. At the heart of
is AMD’s next-generation
-core 65nm mobile processor, ready to take on
Intel’s Core 2 Duo
with a power saving vengeance.
is a dual-core mobile processor geared towards enhanced performance without sacrificing battery life.
features extensive power saving characteristics, more so than its upcoming
, such as an improved
split power plane
split power plane
allows the memory controller and each processor core to operate with independent voltages.
’s DDR2 memory controller also features an improved DRAM pre-fetcher and enhancements in efficiency. With the split power planes, the memory controller’s power plane operates at a lower voltage than the two CPU cores.
Technical Director Sales and Marketing,
hinted that independent core voltage
would be an upcoming announcement on
earlier this year.
The upcoming AMD
features split power planes for the processor cores and memory controller.
by allowing each processor core to have its own voltage plane, allowing each core to operate with different frequencies and voltages. The system can theoretically disable one core to conserve power with split voltage planes, for minimal idle power consumption.
also supports HyperTransport 3.0 with enhanced power management features. HyperTransport 3.0 allows
to scale the link widths on demand to reduce power consumption.
can also disconnect HyperTransport when it is not needed, even when the processor cores are executing instructions.
to form the
platform. Again, Amato detailed much of this platform earlier this year
as an AMD780-based solution
delivers DirectX 10 graphics with the
Universal Video Decoder, or UVD
, for hardware accelerated Blu-ray and HD DVD high-definition video playback. Multiple display output capabilities are supported with the AMD 780G including DVI, HDMI and
. The chipset also supports HyperTransport 3.0 and PCI Express 2.0.
New to the AMD 780G is AMD’s PowerXPress technology that allows the system to switch between integrated and external
graphics dynamically without restarting Windows. The technology promises “the best of both worlds” by enabling the integrated graphics core when the notebook is running on battery power and automatically switching to the higher performing external graphics while plugged in.
Other notable features of the AMD 780G include support for HyperFlash via upcoming SB700 south bridge. HyperFlash is similar to
Intel’s Turbo Memory technology
and allows notebook manufacturers to attach flash memory to the south bridge for enhanced performance.
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The facts-short & precise
5/18/2007 10:51:48 AM
Mobile microprocessor, code-named Griffin, along with its "Puma" platform
1)Griffin is not an entirely new processor. The design is based on the K8 core, which is used, for example, for current Opteron and Athlon X2 CPUs (with 2 x 1 MB L2 cache). AMD has applied a system-on-a-chip methodology to develop the Griffin architecture and has designed a new, more power-efficient integrated Northbridge from scratch. The encapsulated 65 nm core will receive Barcelona’s HyperTransport 3 physical interconnect.
2)Griffin will also share with Barcelona a new optimized DDR2 interface as well as a DRAM prefetcher, but the mobile processor’s memory controller will have an even greater focus on low power consumption. First, the CPU can limit the power consumption of the memory interface by limiting setting the bandwidth to x16, x4, x2 or shut-down states. Second, multiple on-die thermal processors enable Griffin to throttle memory speed. The memory controller monitors the temperature of the DDR2-800 devices and can enforce temperature limits through a memhot signal.
3)The processor continues to use the S-socket of Turion, but will use a different pinout.
4)The chipset that goes along with Griffin, RS780/780G, will play a major role in this strategy. It will be AMD’s first chipset that can be directly aligned and fine-tuned for its processors and promises to bring some enhancements. The 780 series will support DirectX 10, playback of high-definition media (Blu-ray, HD DVD), HyperTransport 3 and PCI Express 2.
5)“PowerXPress”, which combines two graphics engines under one hood - discrete and integrated graphics: When the computer is connected to a power outlet, the notebook processes graphics through a discrete graphics card. When system is unplugged and the battery becomes the power source, the notebook disables the connection to the graphics card and dynamically activates the integrated graphics chipset, which does not offer as much performance as the graphics card, but consumes substantially less power.
6)AMD will not offer its own wireless chipset. The company will continue to rely third party vendors such as Broadcom to complement its mobile platform. Wimax is unlikely to become a feature of Puma (from the start).
5) Puma (which is scheduled to ramp in late 2007) will enable notebooks to exceed more than 5 hours of running time on one battery charge. Griffin itself will remain in the same power envelope as today’s Turion X2 processors (35 watts).
6)Hyperflash with Puma- it essentially is AMD’s version of Intel’s “Turbo Memory”: AMD will also build NAND flash into mainboards to accelerate startup processes of software.
1)Whether a K8-based mobile processor was a good idea to compete with Intel. Should AMD have used the Barcelona “Stars” core (which, by the way, never was code-named K10, as some rumors on the Internet indicate) instead?
2)Griffin looks very much like a Turion X2 upgrade that needs to bridge the gap between 2008 and the time when Fusion arrives (2009/2010).
3)Griffin won’t deliver earth shattering performance and that it will not have the capability to challenge Intel’s Core 2 Duo in every notebook market segment.
To round it off-One big dissappointment
"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer
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