Advanced Micro Devices will pull back the curtain a little more on its first quad-core processor the week of Feb. 12. At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco, which kicks off Feb. 11, the company's engineers will demonstrate new technology that will make AMD's first quad-core chip more power-efficient than previous dual-core processors. The quad-core AMD Opteron processor, which goes by the codename "Barcelona," is scheduled to be released later this year. It will compete against Intel's quad-core Xeon 5300 series, which the company released last November.
AMD, which is based in Sunnyvale, Calif., believes that its engineers have developed a better, "native" quad-core design, which allows four, x86 processing cores on a single piece of silicon. By comparison, Intel's quad-core processor ties two dual-core chips onto a single piece of silicon. In addition, Intel and AMD have each poured money and resources into technologies that ease the power consumption and heat generation of their processors. At this week's conference, AMD will show its quad-core processor's power efficiency. Specifically, engineers have improved on the company's PowerNow technology, which can increase or reduce the amount of power to the chip depending on the demand.