AMD Upcoming Phenom II Chip to Get Turbo Core Feature

AMD reportedly will bring its new Turbo Core power-optimizing technology to its upcoming six-core Phenom II X6 "Thuban" desktop processor. Turbo Core, like Intel's Turbo Boost feature, reduces the power in inactive chip cores while bumping up the power in the active cores, which improves the performance of the active cores.

Intel earlier this year brought its Turbo Boost technology to its Core i7 desktop processors.

The technology powers down idle cores in a processor and moving some of that power over to active cores, essentially overclocking them and improving the performance of the chip.

Now rival Advanced Micro Devices is reportedly ready to add a similar power-optimizing feature to its upcoming six-core Phenom II X6 "Thuban" line of desktop chips.

According to information released this week by AMD, the Turbo Core feature will increase speeds on active cores by up to 500MHz when three or more of the cores aren't being used the application. At that point, the chip will be in what AMD calls a "boost-eligible" state.

Turbo Core will be on the new Phenom chips and upcoming quad-core processors based on the Thuban chip design, according to reports.

AMD officials have yet to say when the Phenom II X6 chips will launch, only that it will be later this year. Few other details have been released.

AnandTech claims to have some more details on the upcoming Thuban line, though the writers there say the information was not given to them by AMD.

The chip maker has said that the new chips will fit in the current Socket AM3 and AM2+ boards, and that IT administrators will only need to update the BIOS to support the new chips.

Intel released its first six-core desktop chip, the Core i7 980X Extreme Edition, in March. The chip, codenamed "Gulftown," is aimed at gamers and high-end multimedia professionals, and offers such features as Hyper Threading and Turbo Boost.