Contrary to the recent K6-2 version, the new AMD K6-2+ is manufactured in a 0.18µm process. Consequently the power consumption of the new processor is much lower than that of the predecessor with 0.25µm wide conducting paths, and it also requires less core voltage. The table above lists all the important technical specifications of the K6-2+ in comparison to the old K6-2. A special feature of the new CPU is the variable clock frequency that can be changed in 32 steps during operation. AMD calls this technology PowerNow, and its main purpose is to lower the power consumption. Therefore AMD is targeting this processor almost exclusively at the notebook market. The core frequency can be controlled between 1.4 Volts and 2.0 Volts, depending on the actual clock frequency. At a clock frequency of 200 MHz the core voltage is at 1.4 Volts, and the processor consumes only 3 to 5 Watts. The PowerNow technology, which is supposed to work in the Thunderbird and Duron processors in the near future as well, can increase the battery life of a notebook quite significantly. Hewlett-Packard is the first manufacturer offering a mobile PC that is equipped with the AMD K6-2+ and the PowerNow function. Clearly, AMD is positioning its new power management technology against Intel's SpeedStep technology, which was also developed to lower the power consumption of a processor.
The 500 MHz model of the AMD K6-2 achieves a significant performance increase in older PC systems.
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