New Architecture and New Power

By Scott Ferguson  |  Posted 2008-06-04 Print this article Print

The processing cores of the Turion Ultra chip-a new architecture based on AMD's K8 design-are built on different power planes, which allow the cores to scale back clock speed independently of one another. A core can also switch into a "deep sleep" mode and let the other core handle the workload by itself.

AMD also included its HyperTransport 3 technology-a high-speed interconnect technology-which will increase the bandwidth when it's needed and then power down again. The memory controller has also been built on a different power plane, which should conserve the battery life.

The Puma platform looks to increase battery life when it comes to graphics. AMD included a feature dubbed PowerXpress, which allows a notebook to switch from discrete to integrated graphics. When the laptop is plugged into an AC adapter, the platform switches to the discrete graphics card. However, when running on battery power, it switches to integrated graphics to reduce power and extend battery life.

PowerXpress also allows a laptop to switch between graphics without rebooting.

AMD is offering three new Turion Ultra processors with the new platform. These include the ZM-86 chip with 2MB of L2 cache and a clock speed of 2.4GHz. The other two chips-the ZM-82 (2.2GHz) and the ZM-80 (2.1GHz)-have 1MB of L2 cache each. These processors are built on the company's 65-nanometer manufacturing process.

The platform will also offer a choice of two different chip sets: the M780G and SB700, which include integrated Radeon HD 3200 graphics. For discrete graphics, AMD offers its Radeon 3400, 3600 and 3800 series graphics. The platform also supports 802.11 a/b/g and draft-n wireless technology, as well as 3G wireless.

AMD is also looking to appeal to more commercial buyers with security features. The Puma platform, just like the new desktop platform, adheres to several security and management standards, including the TCG (Trusted Computing Group) standard for security and the Distributed Management Task Force's new DASH (desktop and mobile architecture for system hardware) standards for management.

When AMD details Puma on June 4 at Computex, it will display several laptops from Acer, Asus, Fujitsu, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, Hewlett-Packard, MSI, NEC and Toshiba that have been designed with the new platform.

Puma will remain AMD's mobile platform until the first half of 2010, when the company releases "Shrike," which will integrate the CPU and GPU in the same package under what the company calls Accelerated Computing.


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