AMD works to chill out Opteron

Advanced Micro Devices plans to announce on Monday technology that will help its server processors run cooler when idle, a feature that could help customers grapple with electricity and air-conditioning costs.

Processor performance gains have been outpaced by increasing power demands and corresponding amounts of waste heat, a problem for those wishing to pack servers more densely in data centers without risking overheating problems such as data loss or crashes. To help ameliorate the situation, AMD has begun bringing power-reduction technology initially developed for its notebook processors to its Opteron processors for servers.

The technology, called PowerNow with Optimized Power Management, lets the operating system slow the processor's clock speed and consequently reduce power consumption by as much as 80 percent, said Ben Williams, vice president of AMD's server microprocessor business unit. The move is the newest step in the years-long arms race between AMD and its Silicon Valley rival, Intel. PowerNow in Opteron mirrors Intel's move to bring its own SpeedStep technology from mobile processors to its server line.

News source: C|Net News.com

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